Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp was impressed with his team’s fighting spirit during the Telkom Knockout last-16 win over Cape Town City.
Chiefs, who scored a late equaliser through Samir Nurkovic, beat City 4-2 on penalty shootout on Saturday after the game ended 1-1 after extra-time.
“It was an entertaining event. We had a good start and missing the penalty is definitely something that sits on your shoulders then two injuries to Kearyn Baccus and Bernard Parker. We lost a little bit [of balance] in that period,” Middendorp told SuperSport TV.
“But on the other hand, we have shown a certain spirit and attitude as a team knowing that we have a qualified opponent.
“Coming back to the final minutes, going through the extra-time, it was a good and matured manner. I think we have taken the penalty shoot-outs, of course, we enjoyed the event and the entertainment but on the other side, you feel sorry for the opponent.
“I think they have really fought for this too. Probably they could have deserved it too but small details decide and we have seen the final two shots after extra-time.”
“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,” commented the German coach.