Orlando Pirates will be without the services of goalkeeper Richard Ofori and right-wing-back Thabiso Monyane for their DStv Premiership tie against a tricky Richards Bay FC at Orlando Stadium tonight.

Ofori, who has been the regular Pirates goalkeeper for some time now, will have to sit out of the Richards Bay tie after accumulating four yellow cards, which means a one match suspension.

The suspension for Ofori comes after the Ghanaian shot-stopper made a huge blunder in the Buccaneers‘ previous game, where he fumbled with the ball in the later stages of the game, which led to the second goal for Sekhukhune in a 2-0 defeat.

Ofori’s error came after the team lost Monyane to a red card, meaning the defender will serve a two-match ban. Head coach Jose Riveiro didn’t want to blame anyone for the loss, especially Ofori.

“The players were tired because we played a lot of minutes with one man down and it’s normal to commit a mistake and we committed more than one, (and) the opponent scored the second goal,” Riveiro said.

However, Riveiro will certainly be hoping for a better performance against the Natal Rich Boyz, especially since the Buccaneers found themselves slipping down to fourth place on the standings after the loss.

Pirates have collected 14 points from nine games, level with arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs (fifth place) and SuperSport United (third place), with the teams only separated by goal difference.

As they welcome Richards Bay, the Bucs coach will have to make a choice on who will replace Ofori in goal, with Kopano Thuntsane, Sipho Chaine and Siyabonga Mpontshane all available.

Riveiro is likely to go with the experienced Mpontshane, who has been playing second fiddle to Ofori at Pirates, as well as the now-departed Wayne Sandilands.

In Richards Bay, Pirates go up against a side new to the South African top-tier, but one that has managed a brilliant start, which saw them in second  place heading into this weekend’s games.

The Natal Rich Boyz will go into the Bucs fixture with their confidence very high after securing maximum points against neighbours AmaZulu FC in their last game.

Categories: Sport

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