Ernst Middendopr hails bunch of winners


Amakhosi were close to being knocked out in the first round after Kermit Erasmus' 34th minute goal until Samir Nurkovic equalised in the last six minutes to send the game to extra-time and ultimately penalties, where Chiefs triumphed 4-2.

"I think a very entertaining event, we had a good start, missing a penalty is something definitely that is sitting on your shoulders," Middendorp told SuperSport TV.

"And to have injuries to Kearyn Baccus and Bernard Parker, we lost a spot in this period but on the other side we have shown a certain spirit, a certain attitude as a team, knowing that there is a qualified opponent on the other side," he continued.

"Coming back in the final minutes and going through extra-time, good [in a] matured manner and then taking [winning] the penalty shoot-outs, of course enjoying the event, enjoying the entertainment but on the other side I feel a little bit sorry for the opponent. I think they have really fought for this win too, probably they could have deserved it too but the small details decides as we have seen the final two shots after extra-time, are probably the details."

The German tactician went on to say that he enjoys working with a group of players who are developing a winning mentality.

"This is the pleasure of this current bunch of winners, a team that has a certain mentality, not to give up even when we're down, okay, keep the structure, keep the gear up, good. It's not the first time [coming back from a losing position], it's several times, with a little bit [of luck] here and there, we could have made it in 90 minutes already.

"I don't want to be impolite but I think the way of using tactical fouls, suffering two injuries not out of... the opponents were involved. Good, Benni [McCarthy] is a respectful human being and a respectful coach, I think fantastic future. But realistically it was a tough game, definitely a lot of duels and challenges but from both sides. This is a character of a cup game," he said.