MTN8: Cape Town City played ugly football against AmaZulu – Tinkler

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder admits the Citizens did not play well despite beating Usuthu to reach the last four

Cape Town City head coach Eric Tinkler has confessed that his side did not play a good game despite beating AmaZulu 2-1 in the quarter-final of the MTN8 on Sunday.

Goals from Terrence Mashego in the eighth minute and Mduduzi Mdantsane in the 89th-minute handed the Citizens a semi-final slot despite Usuthu managing a goal courtesy of Lehlohonolo Majoro in the 54th minute at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Despite reaching the last four, Tinkler has said they did it in an ugly way to get the result.

What did Tinkler say?

“Ja, this was gonna be a tough game, and if there’s one thing that I’ve tried to introduce here at Cape Town City is that it’s not always about playing pretty football in terms of getting results, sometimes you got to play ugly football to get the result, and I think, to a degree, we did that tonight,” Tinkler told the media as quoted by idiskitimes.

“I thought we started the game very well, I thought the first 15, 20 minutes, we looked good. We were playing according to the plan and instruction, looking to get into the wide areas. create the combinations, look to switch. And we did that. And we created one or two little situations that ended up leading to a very, very nice goal scored by Terrence.

Mduduzi Mdantsane of Cape Town City challenged by Tapelo Xoki of AmaZulu.

“But I think immediately after that we shut down, we seem to go in our shell, and then we started having to soak up a lot of pressure from them, they started to press us a lot higher, we struggled to get out of our build-up phase, once we got out of the build-up phase, in our second phase, our passing was was not great.

“And we kept giving the possession back to them. We tried to fix that at halftime explaining to the importance of obviously working very, very hard.”

Tinkler further said he was happy for not taking the game into extra time by stating: “Yes, we’ve played seven friendly matches during the preseason, but nothing compares to a competitive match like we saw tonight.

“I also think the intensity of the game was very, very high, because there was a lot of transitional phases, the team losing possession, having to recover and chase.

“So players worked harder today than probably they have in any of the friendlies that we played, so I explained to them at halftime, it’s going to be about who wants it more. And I think that’s what it was really, at the end of the day, we stuck in there, we, unfortunately, conceded the equalizer, but we kept going.”

How change of formation helped in second half

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder also explained how a change of formation in the second half helped his team to get the winning goal.

“We change the formation just to try and strengthen us a little bit more in the wide areas, allow our wingbacks to get forward,” Tinkler continued.

“And when we did that, we got the winner right at the death. And I think the timing was obviously very, very good. I’m actually happy that we didn’t have to go into extra time, because I think then we’ll be stretching the conditioning of the players.”

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