Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro

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

Orlando Pirates fumble the CAF Champions League bag, let Stellies off the hook

This is gonna be tense.

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro

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

Orlando Pirates have failed to capitalise on a Stellies slip, meaning that CAF Champions League qualification isn’t in their own hands.

Orlando Pirates fumble the bag

Stellenbosch fell to a surprising 2-0 defeat to Swallows on Saturday, opening the door for Orlando Pirates to take control of the race for a top-two finish. However, the Sea Robbers conspired to lose 1-0 at home to relegation strugglers Richards Bay. This, despite Jose Riviero’s men coming into the clash on a seven-game winning streak across all competitions. Much of the post-match talk revolved around a dangerous tackle by Tshegofatso Mabasa, but in the cold light of day, the Buccaneers are no longer in control of their CAF Champions League destiny. Stellenbosch knows that two wins from their two games will tie up second place. However, their fixtures don’t look favourable, against the newly-crowned champions and a crunch clash against a Bay team fighting for their lives.

CAF Champions League Orlando Pirates Sundowns
USM Alger wins the CAF cup after the 2 goals away advantage. Image: Getty Images.

CAF Champions League qualification will go to the wire

Pirates still face TS Galaxy away and SuperSport at home, while Stellenbosch face champions Sundowns at home and then Richards Bay away from home on 25 May. Just a point separates Pirates and Stellies, and Pirates have a goal difference that’s superior by 2. This is likely to be resolved on the final day.

Stellenbosch Kaizer Chiefs MTN8
Stellies are punching above their weight in the PSL. Image: @stellenboschfc / Twitter


Despite their relegation on Saturday, former Orlando Pirates man Lyle Foster has been a key operator this season. In a campaign which was interrupted by his personal mental health issues, the 23-year-old has still racked up 22 EPL appearances with five goals and three assists. Burnley’s final game is at their home, Turf Moor, against Nottingham Forest. Forest will likely still be fighting for their survival at that stage so this match isn’t a dead rubber.

Lyle Foster Burnley Premier League
Lyle Foster celebrates his first-ever Premier League goal. Photo: @KamoMotecwane via Twitter.

Do you think Pirates will finish in the top two? Can they also go on to defend their Nedbank Cup crown on 1 June against Sundowns?

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