Ernst gets sinking feeling as errors prove costly for Spurs

Ernst Middendorp, head coach of Cape Town Spurs. | BackpagePix

Ernst Middendorp, head coach of Cape Town Spurs. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 22, 2024



An exasperated Ernst Middendorp has slammed his Cape Town Spurs players for costly errors that have doomed his efforts to save the club from apparent Premiership relegation.

On Saturday night, Spurs were undone by an unbelievable effort from Sekhukhune United left back Asekho Tiwani early in the second half at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, that heft him clasping his head in disbelief. The strike, from the halfway line, is sure to be a Goal of the Season contender.

Ernst Middendorp, head coach of Cape Town Spurs. | BackpagePix

It did not appear that Tiwani was even looking to catch Spurs goalie Zama Dlamini off-guard. He simply hoofed the ball high upfield and it appeared to be going over the crossbar before dipping into the Spurs net.

The goal turned out to be the eventual match winner. Middendorp, who had targeted a goalless draw, was upset by the outcome and said it was one of several recent errors that have hurt the team in their relegation challenge.

“Another game with an individual mistake. We had it against Swallows, at the end of the game there was an individual mistake to give us a 0-1 loss,” said Middendorp.

“We had it against Sundowns. Before the penalty came, we could clear the ball, but we gave away a penalty. We had it with Chippa, giving them the 0-1 win.

“We had it today again, totally unnecessary. The script of this game was very clear. It was meant to be 0-0.

“With the game getting more minutes, I believe there could have been a chance to counter the press a little higher but anyway, we are very generous in this moment.

“It’s now game number four in a row where we make individual mistakes bringing us in a position unable to come back.

“It’s not about wins. In the Sekhukhune game, we lost a point, as it was against Moroka Swallows, another point. The Chippa match also cost us a point. You saw the game against Sundowns. It would have been possible in the second half to get a point.

“That makes it already four points. That’s what we must take seriously into consideration. It is not about winning.

“At this time it’s frustratingly shocking that we have these nonsense, individual errors that we find ourselves in a terrible situation. It’s totally unnecessary.”

Liam Bern of Cape Town Spurs. | BackpagePix

Sekhukhune United coach Lehlohonolo Seema has acclaimed Tiwani’s goal, which allowed the team to rack up an impressive run of 10 matches without defeat in the DStv Premiership.

“I’m happy that Tiwani scored his first goal in the Premier League,” said Seema. “Whether it was intentional or not – if you don’t shoot, you won’t score.

“The fact that it is in the back of the net shows that there was a shot that was taken towards the goal. So yeah, I’m happy for him and the rest of the guys.”

Middendorp said Spurs will have two opportunities in the next few days to address their dire situation. After 24 games, Spurs are rock-bottom in 16th place with 12 points. Richards Bay, after the same number of matches, are in 15th place with 17 points.

“We have a game on Friday against Richards Bay. It is a Friday evening game and we can probably reduce the gap on the log,” said Middendorp.

“It is our job at this time to make it happen and to come back into a distance (gap) of two points. After that, we have a home game against Polokwane next Tuesday.

“Richards Bay play Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu so let us wait and see what happens but we can talk and talk.

“We have to show another way of handling a soccer game. You can’t make obvious mistakes.”

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dstv premiershipsoccer