Orlando Pirates on Quest to Edge DStv Premiership Rivals to CAF Champions League Qualification

Orlando Pirates on Quest to Edge DStv Premiership Rivals to CAF Champions League Qualification

Jarryd Westerdale
March 1, 2024 at 8:20 AM
In this article:
Orlando Pirates logo
Orlando Pirates
South Africa
Tapelo Xoki logo
Orlando Pirates logoDSouth Africa logo
Stellenbosch FC logo
Stellenbosch FC
South Africa
  • Orlando Pirates have the opportunity to gain ground in the race for continental football
  • Mamelodi Sundowns are almost guaranteed to win the DStv Premiership title again
  • Tapelo Xoki stated that Pirates players have a responsibility to earn CAF qualification

First prize may be out of reach but there is plenty to play for in the DStv Premiership.

Mamelodi Sundowns are counting the weeks until they lift the league title for a seventh straight time but the chasing pack face a royal rumble for second place.

Not only is it a source of pride, but finishing second comes with the opportunity to play CAF Champions League football.

Tapelo Xoki, Orlando Pirates, DStv Premiership, Polokwane City, Stellenbosch FC, Steve Barker.
Tapelo Xoki claims Orlando Pirates players have a duty to earn the club a place in CAF Champions League. Photo: @SkepeMatsebane.
Source: Twitter

Seven points separate second and ninth place in the league standings, with Orlando Pirates in the middle of the scrap.

The Buccaneers have a game in hand on the pack leaders and can close the gap to two points with a win over Polokwane City this Saturday.

Captain, Tapelo Xoki, still feels the pain of squandering their CAF chances earlier this season. IOL relayed his sentiments on accepting the challenge, when he said:

"For a big club like ours, it is a no-brainer that we must be in CAF. We have to make a correction of that."

Do not underestimate Stellies

The proverbial tortoise to the frantic hares, Stellenbosch FC have crept up the log with solidity and consistency. They could be the new pacesetters if they win their two games in hand.

Coach, Steve Barker, is a viewer of the bigger picture and wants the weekly and monthly improvements to become seasonal ones.

To do this, he has vowed to create a dressing room that players do not want to leave. iDiskiTimes quoted him as saying:

"I think we’ve done enough as a football club that players committed to the club. The only time we will entertain is a big overseas move, we’re here to play a part in South African football."

Stellenbosch have already done the double over Pirates, and play Chippa United on Friday night.

How early can Sundowns win the league?

Sports Brief also recently compiled an explainer on how soon Sundowns can wrap up the league title.

Of Masandawana's next seven games in the league, five are against teams in the bottom half of the table.

The right set of results could have them seal the title against Amakhosi, or force a guard of honour yet again.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.