Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has defended his strikers after they drew two blanks at the Carling Black Label Cup.

Riveiro started the first game against Kaizer Chiefs with Kermit Erasmus and Monnapule Saleng upfront, as voted by the club’s fans, while he opted to go with Bienvenu Eva Nga and Kabelo Dlamini in the second match against Mamelodi Sundowns, when his side had to play with 10 men after the early red card for Tapelo Xoki.

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However, Pirates didn’t manage to score a single goal during their two games at the Carling Black Label Cup. Riveiro, though, protected his strikers after the games.

“The two games we played today are totally different,” he told reporters.

“The first game… I didn’t have time to check the numbers, the figures but I think we have most of the time possession against a team who was playing in a low block.

“So we must take the initiative, we must be the team who spend more time on the ball but still we didn’t manage to create so much to even evaluate the players that you consider the strikers.

“And the second game, it was a different story. We knew that in this circumstances, and especially against a team like Sundowns – probably they will be the one who are dominating the game with the ball – so the participation of our strikers in the second game it was different, we asked different things if them.

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“So my obligation is to evaluate the strikers in different circumstances, not only because we didn’t score.

“One more time, the responsibility to score goals is for the, not the keeper but the rest of the players.”

“There are many positive things if we speak about the individuals upfront and hopefully in future we can get something out of the attack.”


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