Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas a dejected figure following Telkom Knockout defeat to Orlando Pirates

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The two Soweto giants' coaches have expressed their emotions following another sold out Soweto Derby affair at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has expressed delight after bagging a 2-1 win over  Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

On the other hand, his opposite number Giovanni Solinas sent an apology to the Glamour Boys family following yet another loss to their arch rivals.

“Absolute credit to the players that they have stuck to the plan. They applied themselves. It was not easy, we were playing against a very competitive Kaizer Chiefs that they were threatening us with (Godfrey) Walusimbi and ‘Rama’ (Ramahlwe Mphahlele) on the full-backs,” Sredojevic said to SuperSport TV.

“They were coming in numbers in front of our defence trying to endanger us. We have been patient especially in the second half. We had opened very well exactly where we planned in spaces behind the full-backs,” he added.

“The ball came from (Vincent) Pule and we scored that goal. Then we disrespected one ball and (Leonardo) Castro scored from that Khama Billiat pass,” responded the coach.

With Amakhosi spending more time in the box upon their return from the tunnel, Sredojevic said they had to be patient in their attempt to break down the opposition's defence.

“In the second half we were looking for two aspects, one was to be patient in build ups and in defending to try to hold and see if we can find holes and exactly that happened six minutes before time. Shonga scored the goal and we won the game,” continued Micho.

“In the last heat of the game we could have conceded. It was a thrilling match, credit to the technical team. I believe we deserve to go to the finals,” said the ex-Uganda national team coach.

When asked regarding his plan and move to introduce Augustine Mulenga in the second half, Micho said they wanted to ease the pressure on Shonga's shoulders.

“I share everything I do with coach Rulani. Our thinking was that we put an extra player that can pull on the shoulders of Shonga so that he can express himself. Exactly that happened,” he reflected.

“We are happy, six times we have played in the Telkom Knockout and we have never passed through. The time has come. It’s the law of averages. Respect to the opponents but give to the supporters because I believe that the biggest power given to human beings is the power to make people happy,” noted the coach.

“I think our Orlando Pirates supporters will be happy this evening, very much the happy people,” he concluded.

Shifting focus to the Naturena-based side, Solinas expressed disappointment following their failure to challenge for a trophy.

“It’s very painful to lose the Derby. Very disappointed, very painful. We tried, we were fighting. We had the chance also in the last minute, two chances, this is football,” Solinas said.

“Maybe if we had scored two (goals) then it’s a different history. The guys tried to fight until the last second but the reality is that we lost the Derby, this is very painful,” he lamented.

“I don’t know about the calendar (year) but we lost two Derbies (in a row), this I repeat is very painful. I feel the pain. I apologise to our supporters. We tried our best, we tried everything,” continued the under-fire mentor.

“Football is about the details, the details today were with Pirates. Maybe we score two goals in the end and the game is another history. The details is about scoring and not scoring. We score, maybe we equalise and go to extra time and maybe we win on penalties. This is football,” responded a dejected Solinas.

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“Lebo (Manyama) is coming back from injury. It was the first game Lebo played in a long time, so a high intensity game like the Derby it’s not possible to play 90 minutes when you’re coming from a long term injury. I knew Lebo was not going to finish the game,” he concluded.


 


 

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