It wasn’t the start Cape Town City head coach Jan Olde Riekerink was looking for, but he was able to find several positives from the defeat to Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 quarter-finals.

The Citizens had been in superb form when the Premier Soccer League (PSL) resumed after the four-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the Cape side was unable to keep that momentum going upon the start of the 2020/ 21 campaign as a well-taken header by Terrence Dzvukamanja in the 23rd minute earned the Gauteng side a 1-0 win on Saturday night at the Citizens’ expense.

However, Pirates did not have things all their own way at Orlando Stadium and they had to grind out the victory despite City having been reduced to 10 men after Fagrie Lakay’s 33rd minute sending off for standing on Wayde Jooste’s ankle.

The Cape team showed good character to keep themselves in the contest and nearly equalised right at the death when Tashrique Morris just failed to get a decisive touch on Abubaker Mobara’s cross.

Riekerink felt his men deserved more than they got on the night.

“I think we started good, and I think we deserved [to score] the last chance, the last goal, its all that you can hope for if you go for everything or nothing,” he told SuperSport after the game.

“Unlucky for the guys that they didn’t score. But I’m very proud of the team the way they present themselves. They worked for the result, we had the opportunity, but it did not fall our way.

“Pirates couldn’t find the solution, they didn’t press us, so we had time. And as I mentioned before the game, this team has great unity and they fight for each other,” the Dutchman continued.

“You will win games and you will lose, but especially when you lose you will see the team spirit and I must compliment them for the way they fought. At the end, we have to win games, but if we keep going like this, then the results will be there.”

The Cape side will now turn their attention to the league, with their first match scheduled for Saturday 24th October, at home against Chippa United.

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