Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says ending their 2023/24 DStv Premiership season in third place would constitute a failure for the club.

The Buccaneers head into their final league game in third place on the standings with 49 points.

They are one point adrift of Stellenbosch in second place, meaning that their fate is no longer in their hands ahead of taking on SuperSport United on Saturday as Stellies face Richards Bay.

Riveiro’s side had two chances to overtake the Cape Winelands club over the past two weeks, but lost to both the Natal Rich Boys and TS Galaxy – as Stellenbosch went down to Moroka Swallows and league champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Despite having already claimed the MTN8, and are also in the Nedbank Cup final where they will face Sundowns, Riveiro’s is still eager to secure second place and Champions League football for next season.

The head coach said in the Sowetan: “I think there’s no excuses. You need to go an extra mile, players and coaching staff, to make sure that the club finish at least second because we can’t finish first, obviously. Anything less than that, is not going to be a good season for us.

“We need to win the game against SuperSport on Saturday and wait that Stellenbosch don’t have a good day and if they have a good day, then they’ll be in the Champions League next season and that’d be well deserved for them.”

On his side’s recent loss to the Rockets, Riveiro added: “Many things went wrong today. We were very slow at the beginning of the game.

“We took too much time to progress and we played to our opponent’s strengths, giving them the possibilities to run in transition.

“I think in the second half we were better than we were in the first half, controlling the game and creating chances.”