Jose Riveiro has responded to claims he used abusive language during the Nedbank Cup semi-final win by insisting he was simply protecting his players.

The Buccaneers ran out 3-1 winners over the Chilli Boys at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

A first-half brace from Kabelo Dlamini (5′, 41′) put Pirates into a commanding position before Elmo Kambindu (63′) reduced the deficit. Tapelo Xoki (81′), however, wrapped up proceedings with his late goal.

Bienvenu Eva Nga was, meanwhile, dismissed for Chippa with two minutes of the match remaining.

Chippa United coach Kwanele Kopo was incensed with comments attributed to Riveiro that he felt led to the late red card, but the Bucs boss insists that there was provocation from both sides.

Speaking after the game, Riveiro said, on FARPost: “There were moments of tensions between the benches because I was not comfortable with the situation inside the field with some behaviours and somethings that were happening during the game which for me are not related with football at all.

“And one of the things that belongs to my role is to try to protect my players and defend my players.

“I’m a quiet person, peaceful, extremely peaceful, but there are moments that you need to stand up and ask some questions about what’s going on, that’s all.

“Then he [Kopo] can give you the description of…I’m ready to hear the words that he said are abusive or not abusive.”

Riveiro added: “I feel nothing happened there out of the limit of competition, and the swearing came from every angle, not only from our bench.”