Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro at the Orlando Stadium. Image: @orlandopirates/X

Key Orlando Pirates defender ruled out of Nedbank Cup final

This is a blow for the club and the player.

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro at the Orlando Stadium. Image: @orlandopirates/X

Orlando Pirates have been dealt a blow with a key man set to miss the Nedbank Cup final. Meanwhile, another player is carrying a niggle.

Orlando Pirates will miss Xoki for the Nedbank Cup final

Khayelitshaa-born Tapelo Xoki has been a key operator for the Buccaneers this term. The 29-year-old central defender has made 26 appearances in the league as well as three appearances in the Nedbank Cup. He’s also grabbed three goals in that competition. According to the Pirates official website, Xoki has been ruled out of the rest of the season with a serious ankle injury suffered in training. He’ll reportedly need surgery. Meanwhile, midfield orchestrator Miguel Timm is a major doubt for the Nedbank Cup final against Sundowns on 1 June after missing the 1-0 defeat to TS Galaxy.

Orlando Pirates players
Tapelo Xoki of Orlando Pirates celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match against and Stellenbosch FC at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the 29 December 2023 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix.

Bucs hit a poor patch of form at the worst possible time

Consecutive 1-0 defeats against Richards Bay and TS Galaxy mean the Sea Robbers’ CAF Champions League qualification hopes aren’t in their own hands. The Sea Robbers face SuperSport United on the final day of the campaign. Second-placed Stellenbosch, one point ahead of Pirates, meet Richards Bay away from home. If Stellenbosch match or better the Pirates result, they’ll seal CAF Champions League football for next season. Kickoff in both these matches is at 15:00 on Saturday 25 May.


Local outlet Soccer-Laduma believe Pirates have identified 22-year-old Nigerian Etiosa Ighadoro as a primary target. The Sundowns man, on loan with SuperSport this season, has had a reasonable campaign. He’s scored five goals and supplied two assists in 23 league outings.

“Pirates are watching the situation attentively because they are interested in the striker. Yes, Kaizer Chiefs showed interest last season when he was at Chippa United but nothing came up and Sundowns loaned him to SuperSport. But now Pirates have made inquiries as they are looking at an experienced striker who knows the DStv Premiership very well and they are looking at Ighodaro right now,” said one source. 

Orlando Pirates nedbank cup
Orlando Pirates fans are expectant on Soweto Derby Day. Image: BackpagePix

Bucs fans, would you be happy with this place in the league if your club wins the cup final against Sundowns?

Let us know by clicking on the comment tab below this article or by emailing info@thesouthafrican.com. You can also send a WhatsApp to 060 011 021 1.

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