Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says Stellies will still be tough even without Mthethwa
Though Sibongiseni Mthethwa was an important figure for Stellenbosch, Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro doesn’t expect the Winelands outfit to be any less dangerous or different without the midfield strongman when the sides meet.
Stellies will travel to Orlando Stadium for the MTN8 semifinal second leg on Sunday (3pm) without Mthethwa who has been sold to Kaizer Chiefs.
Pirates head to the second leg with an advantage, having won the first leg 2-1 away from home.
Ox, as Mthethwa is affectionately known, gave Pirates a tough time, with his ability to lend a hand in defence and be crucial in attack in the first leg.
Riveiro insisted that their approach for the game is not going to change because Mthethwa is no longer there and still anticipates a tough match from the Steve Barker-coached side.
“Nothing is going to change for us,” Riveiro said.
“We know Mthethwa and what he is capable of doing but for sure there’s going to be somebody else who is going to try and prove that they have the level to play in that position for Stellenbosch and be the next Mthethwa.
“We all have replacements. They are going to play with 11 players and for us in terms of approach it’s going to be the same.”
Stellenbosch will also be without defender Ismaël Touré, who scored in the first leg, due to suspension.
Pirates head into the clash with their morale a bit low after they suffered successive defeats in the Caf Champions League against Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy and DStv Premiership where they lost to Mamelodi Sundowns.
“It’s an opportunity to come back to the winning track. Usually, the intention will be to win the match and not think so much about the advantage that we have, which is a fact we are leading 2-1,” Riveiro said.
“We know Stellenbosch very well, we know what is coming and we know what kind of game (they will play). We are ready again to offer a good fight and for sure we are going to get a good result.”
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