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Telkom Knockout Cup: Big decisions went against Orlando Pirates in Soweto Derby - Mokwena

16:59 GMT 02/11/2019
Rulani Mokwena, Orlando Pirates, August 2019
Middendorp and Mokwena have shared their remarks following a thrilling TKO Cup clash where Amakhosi overcame the Buccaneers

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has credited their arch-rivals Orlando Pirates for making it difficult for his men to secure a win in the Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final match on Saturday afternoon.

Middendorp has also heaped praise on the two teams for making the match a fantastic event at Moses Mabhida Stadium whilst also complimenting his troops for making it through to the next stage.

On the other hand, Mokwena was left to congratulate the Glamour Boys but lamented the red card that was shown to Mthokozisi Dube in the second half saying it forced them to restructure and also congratulated his charges for their fight.

“I think it was a fantastic event, quite entertaining, stretched to the possibility of what was necessary. I think we have to notify that Pirates made it very difficult for us,” Middendorp told SuperSport TV.

“Even the tactical way, I must say in the end with (Frank) Mhango upfront we had trouble despite one man more, but good we had to come back from 1-0 and take a bit of a risk and that’s how it is. This derby character is always something specific.

“If you are one man more or less but, of course, compliments to the guys we are happy to go to the next round. We took our full back and put an attacking player in the right position.

“We took Willard Katsande from a defensive side and brought an attacking Dumisani Zuma at half-time more or less, and it was necessary we didn’t have to wait because they are quite good.

“We had a number of ways when we scored the goal and we had our opportunities but good, that is why I say Pirates had good solutions, despite having one man less. I’m saying this is definitely where the technical team comes in. A compliment to the guys, it was difficult for us.”

Speaking after the match, Mokwena has congratulated the Glamour Boys for the 4-2 win on penalties but he was unhappy with some of the decisions that went against his side.

“Congratulations to Kaizer Chiefs, they won the match and we are never sore losers at Orlando Pirates, we gave it our best and we give as much as we receive,” Mokwena told SuperSport TV.

“But at the end of the day if we are on the losing end, we congratulate the opponent and we move on.

“Well, you’ve got to look at the game in its entirety, from the beginning of the whistle until the 45 minutes, there was only one team on the pitch.

“Complete control, dominance except to deal with the long balls from the centre-backs and the diagonal balls from the full-backs like Njabulo Blom and Yagan Sasman trying to target Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro.

“Then you’ve got to look at the movement of Khama (Billiat) which I thought we dealt with it exceptionally, you then in between before you go to half time, you get a break and you put pressure on Daniel Akpeyi.

“And that’s another big decision that could have gone for us, unfortunately, it goes against us. So, it’s the first decision that went against us. The second one again should have been – another big decision goes against you and you’re caught on the back foot.

“You’ve got to reshuffle the team, the structure has to change just because Dube gets a red card in a very important position.

“We conceded the goal in a critical phase and the third big decision goes against the Buccaneers is a penalty. I’ve seen even worse penalties given this season, yeah a bitter pill to swallow particularly when you’ve played so well.

"Particularly when you’ve been the better tactical team on the pitch and particularly when you’ve been so brave.”