Will Orlando Pirates qualify for the CAF Champions League?

FILE - Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

FILE - Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 4, 2024

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By Mthobisi Nozulela

After playing out to a 1-1 draw against their Soweto neighbours Moroka Swallows on Wednesday evening, Orlando Pirates' quest to qualify for the CAF Champions League became even more difficult as they slipped to fourth in the DStv Premiership.

The Soweto giants have amassed a total of 34 points from a possible 66 so far this season.

Their last five games have returned just eight points out of a possible 15, as the Buccaneers’ gap behind Stellenbosch FC widened to four points, with a game in hand for the Western Cape outfit.

With a 14-point gap between runaway league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and the Soweto giants, head coach Jose Riveiro, in a post-match interview on Tuesday evening, conceded that winning the DStv Premiership may be out of reach.

"It's clear that being first in this league [...] is a huge challenge for everyone, and running for the second position this season is going to be tough.

“There are different candidates in very good form with the ambition to beat us, so it's going to be an entertaining fight for that position," said Riviero.

"We're going to do everything in order to at least finish in the second position. It's our intention. We want to go back to Africa next season, but [the next game is going to] be a tough game.“

The Soweto giants take on Durban side Golden Arrows on Saturday and will be hoping to put up an improved performance in their quest for continental football.

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