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CAF Confederation Cup

I am extremely happy with SuperSport's performance, says Eric Tinkler

8:11 PM MYT 20/11/2017
Eric Tinkler
Despite suffering defeat in the first leg, Tinkler remains optimistic that Matsatsantsa can turn things around in Tshwane

SuperSport United may have suffered a 2-1 defeat against TP Mazembe in the Caf Confederation Cup final first leg, but they left Lubumbashi with their heads held high knowing that they achieved what they set out to accomplish by grabbing a crucial away goal.

Matsatsantsa had several opportunities to find the back of the net and had it not been for a lack a lack of a killer instinct in front of goal they could have got even more out of the game than they had bargained for.

However, speaking after the game SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler was satisfied with the result especially after Sipho Mbule’s strike gave them something to take with them into the second leg in Tshwane.

“Obviously, we came here to score and we managed to achieve that,” Tinkler told reporters.

“I said to the players I’d rather leave here with a 2-1 loss than a 0-0 draw because It was very important for us to score that away goal especially against a team like TP Mazembe. They are a very experienced team and if you do not score here it becomes very difficult at home,” Tinkler explained.

But  the 47-year-old did rue his side’s missed opportunities during the first half but was overall pleased with SuperSport's response particularly in the second half.

“I think it opens up the game a little bit more because they have seen our ability going forward,” he stated.

“I think we showed that in the first 20 minutes. I felt in the first 20 minutes we could have scored one or two, and I think that kind of put them on the backfoot. But then I felt they started kicking long ball forward and we started to drop too deep and that is when they started to hurt us.

“It was a little unfortunate for the keeper (Ronwen Williams) how we conceded the first goal. Right at the death we had a chance. I think it was cleared off the line three times where we could have gone in at least 1-1," he added.

“The boys reacted well in the second half. Defensively we were a lot more organised. The young boy, Spho Mbule who only last week was playing in a Diski league (MultiChoice Diski Challenge) match found himself in a Caf Confederation Cup final.

“Considering the fact that we hadn’t had a full weeks preperation and we had a few of our key players missing, I am extremely happy with the team and the performance they put on,” he concluded.