Durban - Overall Coastal FC coach Steve Barker was happy with the performance of his side following their 3-0 win over Dinaledi in the first DSTV Compact Cup semi-final which was played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday afternoon.
Coastal FC appeared to be taking the game more seriously and clinched the game through goals from Ashley Du Preez, Taariq Fielies and youngster Luphumlo Sifumba.
“In the opening 15 and 20 minutes of the second half, they could have come back into the game but then we got back together again. I am proud of the effort and how quickly we galvanised, came together and unified. We have something to look forward to next week,” said Barker.
Barker believes that the different combinations he could work with due to having players available from different teams helped.
“It was nice to have different combinations. Evidence (Makgopa) gave us aerial ability. Ashley (Du Preez) added pace up front. At training (Thabo) Nodada was excited about how he could play in Du Preez from behind,” said Barker.
“It’s nice that the players get to experience different players. I thought we gelled well and kept the ball well. It was great for 16-year-old Sifumba to come in and get a goal.
One of the unique elements of the Compact Cup is that fans are allowed to pick substitutes through a voting system. Barker believes that supporters of his team were on point with their tactical thinking.
“The substitutions from the fans were good. The fans realized Du Preez had run his legs off and Eva Nga came on who gave us what we needed. The fans' selections were good, so well done to them,” said Barker.
Meanwhile, Dinaledi coach Dan Malesela admitted that there was a gulf in class between the two teams on the day.
“One team was more determined and the other one was not as determined as we were expecting. If you look, we could have scored many goals. Our approach was half-hearted and so we missed. If you put your mind to something, you are rewarded. If you are half-hearted, this will be the result. We can’t blame the players too much as they were on a break and some are not fit,” said Malesela.
Coastal United will now play in the final at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg next weekend. Dinaledi will play in the third-place playoff which will also be held in Johannesburg prior to the final.