Jose Riveiro says his Orlando Pirates side were outstanding bar the mistake that cost them the game within the opening five minutes.

Cassius Maulila kept up his incredible form in front of goal this season with his seventh league goal when he profited from a misplaced Sipho Chaine pass as Masandawana were ruthless in their counter-pressing tactics early on.

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Coach Rulani Mokwena admitted they had to grind out the result as it was a ‘big game performance’ and Riveiro lamented that his side weren’t able to convert their possession dominance into three points at Esgodini.

“Very intense game from the beginning to the end, two good teams, two similar plans to approach the game, the game changed a bit quickly after they got the lead, we made a mistake in one of our build-ups and they really punished us in the first mistake,” he said.

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“But I think after that, the game was absolutely dominated by Orlando Pirates in every scenario, even before half-time everybody is asking me about the second half but I think the first half we were dominating the situation quite well.

“We had our chances, especially at set-pieces, we were very close to finalise one or two games in lateral free-kicks, but we were not lucky in those specific situations.

“In second half I think Sundowns started very well the first five minutes. After that, I thought the game was us but unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalise the things we created.

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“We want to win games, and we are not happy with the result, don’t get me wrong but I think the performance from Orlando Pirates players was outstanding.”

Fourth-placed Pirates are now 27 points behind league leaders Sundowns, albeit having played two games fewer than the Tshwane giants.

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