EAST LONDON – The Magic FC technical director George Dearnaley praised his boys for doing a great job, even though they lost to Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.
The Cape Town side that play in the ABC Motsepe League managed to thwart Chiefs from scoring goals in the 90 minutes, and the extra time was needed for Chiefs to advance into the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup with a 3-0 win.
Dearnaley congratulated Chiefs, but felt a team with no world-class facilities did a very good job and could have created the biggest upset many people wanted to see.
“First, I want to congratulate Kaizer Chiefs. I have to say they deserve to win the game. They created better chances and missed a good few chances in the 90 minutes.
“But the story we go home with is that a team that does not have facilities, who do not have salaries – (we) took the biggest club in the country to 105 minutes goalless.
“That for us is an unbelievable achievement, and we may even have had a chance to score a goal in the 90 minutes, so that we could have really created the upset everyone (except Chiefs fans) wanted to see.
“We are very proud of our guys. I think they gave us everything. The biggest different between ABC Motsepe team and professional teams is the level of fitness.
“And we knew going to the extra time was going to be really tough for us. I have got a 36-year-old Thando Mngomeni, who came on and reminded people how really good he was.
“Tshepiso Tlhapi, my captain, is 33-years-old. This is an unbelievable achievement for us to go head-to-head with Kaizer Chiefs and lose (only) in the extra time,” said Dearnaley.
We gave everything! Well done Kaizer Chiefs - it’s ok to admit you got a fright!! And we left our dressing room spotless. Respect the game. And work hard! #Believe— TheMagicFC (@TheMagicFC) February 17, 2019
After some changes in the second half, The Magic created few chances, but in extra time, the energy of the players ebbed, and that made them create mistakes that allowed Chiefs to exert more pressure.
“You know what happens in football is, as you get tired, the first thing that gets tired is the legs, the second thing is the brain, and you start switching off because the brain does not want force the body,” Dearnaley said.
“The brain says I am tired, tired – I can’t run anymore. I think the second two goals were definitely a case of tired mentally – not following runners, not being compact in defence and the score wasn’t, maybe not a fair reflection of what we gave this game.”@PedroMapelo