United face short Zesco trip in quarters
ERIC TINKLER is delighted that SuperSport United will be facing Zesco United in the quarter-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Not that the new coach of Matsatsantsa a Pitori thinks the Zambian side will be easy opposition. Far from it, for he acknowledges that the side that plays its matches out of Ndola will take some beating.
Tinkler’s delight comes from the fact that SuperSport will not have to take on the nightmarish travelling logistics they’d have had to make where they to play Egypt’s Smouha for instance.
“We go to Zesco, at least it is not a long trip,” Tinkler said following their 4-1 demolition of Gabonese side CF Mounana at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday. “It’s a nice close trip, close to home. But the opposition is very strong. And now we need to study them very, very carefully and ensure that we go there and put on a good performance and move on (to the semi-finals).”
SuperSport will play Zesco, who topped Group C, in Ndola on September 8,9 or 10 and then host the second leg the following weekend.
Having already reached the final of Africa’s second tier competition with Orlando Pirates, Tinkler is eager to go one better and deliver the trophy.
“We’d love to get to the final again and win it and obviously in order to achieve that the next obstacle is gonna be them (Zesco).”
While their winning margin over Mounana should have Zesco a little worried, the reality of it was that SuperSport essentially played for 45 minutes – in the first half when they ended the match as a contest with four very welltaken goals by Bradley Grobler, Thabo Mnyanmane and a brace from Jeremy Brockie.
“I thought (it was) a very good professional display in the first half,” Tinkler ZIMBABWE fans burst onto the pitch after their team were crowned this year’s Cosafa Cup champions yesterday.
The win means that Zimbabwe have now been crowned champions of the event fives times.
For the title winners it was like a home game with their fans far out-numbering their Zambian counterparts, something that seemed to spur them on.
On either wing, both Zimbabwe’s captain Ovidy Karuru and Talent Chawapiwa shone the brightest for their side.
They were the two spears which the Warriors used to pierce through Zambia’s defensive line out wide. chimed. “I thought we started the game really, really well – very positive. (We had) good formation, good movement and we were looking to get the ball out wide. Everytime we got the ball out wide we created problems for them and (we scored) some very nice goals. I thought the first half was exceptional.”
Not so the second half though, the fact that Tinkler left the stands where he was watching the match from – he is not yet registered for the CAF competition – and went to the dressing room to deliver the half-time talk notwithstanding.
“The second half wasn’t very good. I tried to motivate the guys at halftime, explaining to them the importance of looking to try and get the fifth or even the sixth goal, looking to stay professional in terms of our attitude,” Tinkler explained frowning. “But we didn’t really show that; we looked lacklustre, we looked like we didn’t trust the formation again because Bradley was playing a little bit too high now and was not looking to play in the pocket like he did in the first half. Thuso (Phala) was playing very high and so was Thabo. It was sloppy the way we gave away the goal, losing the ball in the middle.”
They won though and with TP Mazembe beating Horoya their passage to the quarterfinals was secured – and that was all that mattered.
“We were worried there to be honest. When it was 1-1 (between Mazembe and Horoya) obviously that concern (they could miss out) came. We were hoping Horoya played to hold the draw and when it became 2-1, I asked that they don’t tell me the score.”
It ended that way and SuperSport now have to get over Zesco.
“Overall we’re very happy because we move into the next phase of this competition and the boys now get a very good rest which I think is important.”