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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Crystal Lake coach proud of players despite loss to Pirates

'We are playing against the mighty Buccaneers, go out there and showcase your talent,' is what Nyulungu says he told his players at half time.

After being knocked out of the Nedbank Cup by Orlando Pirates, Crystal Lake FC coach Magic Nyalungu says the game was a learning curve to help them thrive in the SAFA Regional League.

READ MORE: Pirates ease past Crystal Lake

The Mpumalanga outfit were thrashed 6-0 by Pirates at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

Knowing very well it was going to be tough coming up against the Sea Robbers, Nyalungu believes his charges gave their all.

“I don’t think we lost, we learned. It was a battle between a father and a son and the father came out top. We just need to go back to the drawing board and fix our mistakes,” the coach told SABC Sport after the match, adding that he had spoken to goalkeeper Maxwell Thete, who had to be stretchered off.

“I spoke to him (Thete), and he is okay. It is one of those games. We were stretched hard. But you can’t blame the boys, they gave it their all. I mean, we had a one-on-one situation against Pirates, that’s a positive”

A poor start

Crystal Lake didn’t start the match well against the DStv Premiership side – conceding four goals in the first 45 minutes. Nyalungu reveals that he told his players not to panic and just display their talent since they were playing against the ‘mighty Buccaneers’.

“During the interval, I told them guys, it seems like you are panicking and there is no need to panic. It is not like we are playing … any team in our league. We are playing against the mighty Buccaneers, go out there and showcase your talent. That’s why we brought in some substitutes and they were positive,” he added.

“We saw that little boy, our jersey number 17 (Halalilsani Nkuna), who is 17-years old – is the one who had a shot on target, the youngest player on the field. That’s a positive, I’m super proud of this bunch of players.”

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Crystal Lake are fighting for promotion to the ABC Motsepe League and they are currently sitting in second place on the log.

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