JOHANNESBURG – Ernst Middendorp held court at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium’s Conference Room on Saturday night as he credited his troops' performance after they progressed to the final of the Nedbank Cup following a 4- 2 victory over Chippa United.
The Kaizer Chiefs’ coach is enjoying a blissful return to the club considering that he’s a match away from reviving their prestigious tag of being “Cup Kings of South African Football”. It’s been three seasons of sorrow at Naturena, considering their trophy cabinet had gathered dust since Stuart Baxter, now Bafana Bafana coach, held the hot seat back in 2015.
“We had a clear dominance,” Middendorp said. “We deserved the early lead. (However) towards the end of the first half we lost our dominance. We came back into the second half, started to adjust left and right to do something better. (But) we were then in trouble as we were two goals down.
In the end it was a fantastic reaction as we were two gears up. And then scoring the goals. I think that was something special but it’s not only the result, (but) the performance was (also) good from our side.”
Chiefs will meet TS Galaxy in the Final on May 18 in Durban. Galaxy booked their spot in the last round following a 2-1 victory over Golden Arrows.
However, what made the victory sweet for Dan “Dance” Malesela is that he’s got an opportunity to avenge the defeat that he suffered to Chiefs in the semi-final with Garankuwa United back in 2013.
“I am very happy to go to the final in Durban,” Middendorp said. “We worked hard in all these games to be there. We’ll prepare going into it. “
Following back-to-back disappointing results against Baroka FC and Black Leopards, Chiefs needed to come to the fore against Chippa. That, however, was not something that they’d lose sleep over especially after Middendorp had bemoaned how his troops are more concerned about winning silverware than challenging for the league.
“Khama (Billiat) in the end missed a chance to score the second goal. But in the moment, it’s something that you see when you talk about the character, attitude, mentality of the team and togetherness to show the chemistry,” Middendorp explained.
Despite being out of the league race, Chiefs will be hoping to continue with the winning momentum when they welcome Arrows tonight at FNB Stadium. This encounter will mark Steve Komphela’s second return to the venue since he was with Bloemfontein Celtic before the Christmas break.@Mihlalibaleka