Bloemfontein Celtic coach Clinton Larsen says his players always had the belief that their name was on the 2012 Telkom Knockout trophy
Phunya Sele Sele won just their third piece of silverware in the club’s history on Saturday as they beat Mamelodi Sundowns in the final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
It was the culmination of a remarkable run that saw them come back from 3-1 down against Orlando Pirates going into injury-time of their quarterfinal, as well as winning a pulsating semifinal against Free State Stars 3-2.
“What an emotional rollercoaster ride. I am so proud of my boys today, they gave it their all,” Larsen says. “I have said from the beginning it would have been an injustice had we not won this cup given the route that we had and I am ecstatic.”
He says that his side had played to their potential in the first half, but the fact that they were still in the game at 0-0 was a positive sign.
“I said to the boys [at halftime] we had the best chance of the first half, but we were not playing our best football. We were still in the game though and that was a sign that this cup was meant for us.”
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens was gracious in defeat, congratulating Phunya Sele Sele, but says his side were flat in the second period.
“Especially in the first half we played a really good game, a pressing game, in the second half they scored early on and the goal came from nowhere. I need to see the replay, I am not sure if the ball was completely over the line,” Neeskens says.“After that it was going to be difficult because you have to open up more, you want to press more and play more up front. Everybody should be disappointed.”