“It was expected to be an intense game,” reflects coach Ernst Middendorp after seeing his side through the Last 8 of the Telkom Knockout Cup. “We knew they were going to come hard at us. We dominated in the initial stages of the game, but I thought missing the penalty slowed us down a bit. Credit though must go to the team because we fought until the end.”
Kaiser Chiefs secured the next round of the competition after overcoming Cape Town City in the Last 16 of the 2019 Telkom Knockout.
“After missing the penalty, we allowed them to come at us,” Middendorp refers to Daniel Cardoso’s missed spot kick. Amakhosi had a glorious chance to open the scoring when they were awarded a penalty just after the half-hour mark after a shot by Khama Billiat struck the arm of City defender Taariq Fielies.
“it is part of the game and it happens to the best in the world. Moments later we conceded against the run of play. It is good that we regrouped and back strongly after making a series of changes.”
Middendorp was forced to make changes after Kearyn Baccus and Bernard Parker suffered injuries in the first half.
Trailing 1-0 from 34th minute Erasmus shot, Dumsani Zuma and Samir Nurković checked in for the injured duo of Baccus and Parker. “The injuries changed our game plan,” says Middendorp. “We kept the shape until we got the equaliser. The final result matters as we move to the next stage.”
The equaliser was scored via an exquisitely taken half-volley by Nurković in the 84th minute. 4-2 it ended after a shootout.
“For now, it is a matter of quickly moving to prepare for the next match,” Middendorp threw javelin to next Sunday’s much anticipated league match against Mamelodi Sundowns. “We are looking forward to the short trip across town to face Sundowns.”
The draw for the TKO Last 8 will be held on Tuesday, October 22 post the match between Chippa United and Bloemfontein Celtic in Port Elizabeth.