Orlando Pirates team

Orlando Pirates team vs Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld in February 2024. Image: BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates star to miss Sundowns final

Football injuries often happen at the worst of times. Orlando Pirates captian Tapelo Xoki will not play in the Nebdbank Cup final.

Orlando Pirates team

Orlando Pirates team vs Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld in February 2024. Image: BackpagePix

This Saturday will be one of the biggest matches of the season. It’s Orlando Pirates against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup at the Mbombela Stadium. Unfortunately, Tapelo Xoki will not be on the green grass.


How important is the the Khayelitsha-born star? The 29-year-old Xoki played as many as 37 times this season, which included an impressive six goals and one assist.

According to Orlando Pirates, the former Old Mutual Academy and AmaZulu star has been ruled out for the rest of the season. He is due for surgery after he suffered a knee injury in training.

“Tapelo Xoki has been ruled out for the remaining matches of the 2024/25 season and will need to undergo surgery after suffering a knee injury during training earlier this week,” Orlando Pirates announced.

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Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has revealed his affection and respect for his Orlando Pirates counterpart Jose Riveiro.

“Jose Riveiro, apart from him … I like Jose so much. I really do,” Mokwena said via IOL.

“Every time I meet him I get a genuine sense of respect. Like a genuine sense of sportsmanship. He’s a fierce competitor, but he’s good person you know,” the Sundowns coach concluded on the Orlando Pirates mentor.


Furthermore, the Buccaneers’ former captain, Lucky Lekgwathi, has revealed what he loves about Riveiro, which is creating positional competition and giving a chance to a kid like Relebohile Mofokeng.

“For me when you look at it, there is competition,” Lekgwathi told FARPost. 

“Everyone that comes into the team makes sure that they impress to get the starting position. For example, if you look at the competition between Thabiso Monyane and Thabiso Lebitso.

“You also look at the rest of the defence, [Thabiso] Sesane came in and they gave him a chance. But if you look at previous coaches most of these players didn’t have the chance to play. Look at the team now, everyone gets a chance to play.

“I think even Relebohile [Mofokeng], had it been another coach, it would have been difficult for him to play because they would say he is young. But the coach took a risk and gave him an opportunity to play

“He is regular now and I think he has replaced [Thembinkosi] Lorch now. So I think the coach is very fair. Everyone who fails, they do so because of themselves, not because they don’t get an opportunity to play,” the legend concluded.