Ernst Middendorp: Kaizer Chiefs deserve to reach Nedbank Cup final

The two coaches shared their thoughts following a thrilling affair at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has praised his troops after winning a six-goal thriller against Chippa United in the Nedbank Cup semi-final clash on Saturday night.

The 4-2 win saw Amakhosi reach the final where they will meet National First Division (NFD) side TS Galaxy on May 18 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

"I think compliments to Chippa. Fantastic comeback for a certain period of the game. I think we had a clear dominance at 1-0 and there were opportunities to make it two or three. But then we had problems all of a sudden in a period of five to eight minutes,” said Middendorp to Supersport TV.

Despite breaking the deadlock through Dumisani Zuma’s goal in the first half, the Chilli Boys fought back and scored twice through Andile Mbenyane and Lerato Manzini.

However, Andriamirado Andrianarimanana, Bernard Parker and Khama Billiat all netted to seal Chiefs' victory over Chippa.

"In the end, with four goals and coming back from 2-1 down and the character we showed, I think it was a fully deserved win from our side," he added.

The German tactician also shared his thinking behind his move to replace a central defender, Teenage Hadebe with a left back in Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya.

"He had a yellow card. I know he is more of a centre back and feels a bit more comfortable in the middle. You could see he struggled a bit,” continued Middendorp.

“They overloaded him a bit on this side. They figured out there was a bit of a shaky player. Ntiya-Ntiya was a fantastic replacement and contributed to the final 30 minutes," he concluded.

On the other hand, Arrows coach Clinton Larsen praised Chiefs, saying that they were deserved winners on the night.

"Firstly congratulations to Ernst and his team. I thought they were deserved winners tonight. Too much turnover from us in the first half. We sorted a few things out at half-time, made a few changes and it made an immediate impact,” Larsen told SuperSport TV.

“Going 2-1 up and conceding the way we did was amateurish. Very disappointed how we conceded the first three goals,” said the coach.

"It wasn't meant to be. I must credit the boys for the effort they put in, it was a good run. Taking into consideration the situation of the club at the moment, we definitely punched above our weight," he reacted.

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Moreover, Larsen also lauded his troops for an improved display especially at the back, saying there is a massive improvement in the team since he took over.

"We had to take risks. We had to defend intelligently when we got the three bookings at the back. Really pleased with the second-half performance, though,” he continued.

"Before tonight, we had only lost three games from January to April, so that's a remarkable recovery from where we were in December. We've drawn a lot of confidence from the performances we've been putting together so we're confident of doing well in our remaining games," concluded the Chilli Boys boss.