Lapses of concentration cost Kaizer Chiefs three points and bragging rights in the Soweto derby, said Amakhosi coach Giovanni Solinas after his side lost 2-1 to Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Solinas’ charges had a brilliant start to the game with Khama Billiat putting the Glamour Boys one up as early as 15th minute into the game.
Furthermore, Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune saved a Justin Shonga penalty in the 26th minute and it all seemed like Chiefs would walk away with the spoils before Innocent Maela equalised for the Buccaneers two minutes later and Vincent Pule’s tap-in sealed the victory in the 33rd minute.
“We started very well and scored early,” said Solinas. “Then we lost concentration, the distance and we were soft in defence. We played well in the second half and created chances. I think the derby was well-balanced, Pirates didn’t dominate and maybe Chiefs didn’t dominate.
“Congratulations to Pirates for winning this derby and we apologise to our supporters because when you lose the derby it’s very painful,” said the Chiefs coach.
“But this is football and I think our second-half performance was positive and now we just need to understand why we lost concentration after we scored. We take lessons from this derby and we need to improve mentally and understand that we are Chiefs and we need a winning mentality.”
Pirates coach Micho meanwhile, praised his side’s mental strength.
“Living under the philosophy when it’s good to fly, when it’s bad, do not give up. I’m coming here with the highest degree of respect to our opponents Kaizer Chiefs,” said Sredojevic.
“A match that brings a country to standstill, it has so much pressure and stress. A match that people were telling me it would make or break me. Having that in mind our job was to thoroughly prepare.
“We started the game on the back foot and I need to give credit to Chiefs for dominating and scoring the opening goal. But it was like a wake-up call for us and then we got a penalty which Itumeleng Khune saved. It could have injected some sort of motivation into our opponents and we could have cracked mentally. However, showing mental strength and giving credit to our players, we immediately answered and didn’t drop our heads.”
The win saw the Buccaneers take their points tally to 19 after 11 games, while Chiefs remain on 14 points from the same number of games.