Chippa United

Chippa United coach Heric after Nedbank Cup final defeat to TTM: 'We couldn’t move, we were like enchanted'

21:04 SAST 2021/05/08
Kurt Lentjies Chippa United Thabo Rakhale Tshakhuma FC Nedbank Cup Final
Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo scored the only goal of the game after 26 minutes - during a period in which the Chilli Boys struggled to impose themselves

Unfortunately for Chippa United, stage-fright proved costly in Bloemfontein on Saturday night as they were beaten 1-0 by TTM in the 2021 Nedbank Cup final.

It was by Chippa coach Vladislav Heric’s own admission that his team had started nervously, despite having tried to avoid exactly such an issue.

“We tried to approach this game like 20 other games - without the pressure, but unfortunately the first half an hour, we didn’t exist. We couldn’t move, we were like enchanted,” Heric told SuperSport TV after the match.

“Last 15 minutes of the first half - we start to play. We start to recover from the shock, [of] conceding a goal from the rebound (Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo’s shot deflected off Chippa defender Frederic Nsabiyumva and into the net).

“From both sides, there were no chances and we get that cracker, if I may say, and then we were shocked,” the Serbia-born coach elaborated.

“Second half we came like a different team and looked better organised and much more offensive. But we couldn't penetrate, we couldn’t create the chances, maybe one or two chances, it was not enough for us to recover the game.

“It’s sad for all of those who worked so hard to be in the final. Because to lose the final or to lose the first game in the cup is the same thing – you are definitely not the winner.”

On the winning bench was head coach Dylan Kerr, who together with his technical team has instigated a revival in TTM’s fortunes in recent weeks, including last weekend’s win against Kaizer Chiefs in the league.

“Credit to everybody, credit to Vlad and his team, you know it’s a cup final and you’ve got to dig in deep,” Kerr said.

“We made mistakes in the second half to give them counter-attacks. But we defended like we should do, we defended like heroes.

“Credit to my players, all the staff. Credit [assistant coaches] Mpho Maleka and DVD (David Mathebula), they’ve been fantastic while we’ve been together, we’ve worked hard and got a just reward. I think the chairman might phone me tonight and say ‘congratulations!’

“It’s a great achievement for TTM, after the season that they’ve had - the players have been through so many ups and downs, more downs than ups, but today they thoroughly deserved it.”