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.”

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