Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp paid the price for fielding an inexperienced defense on Sunday when they were dumped out of the Telkom Knockout by Maritzburg United losing 2-1 in the semi-final played at Mbombela Stadium.
This loss meant that Chiefs’ nine-game unbeaten streak in all competitions came to an end. Chiefs came to the game without the suspended Eric “Tower” Mathoho, and he had Ramahlwe Mphahlele or Lorenzo Gordinho to partner Daniel Cardoso who gifted Judas Moseamedi but chose to go with the younger Njabulo Blom.
The new partnership was a horrible show on the day and played right into the hands of Eric Tinkler’s tactics. Middendorp says the sooner they forget about this game the better.
Chiefs were also dealt a major blow on the eve of the game when Khama Billiat failed a late fitness test. Billiat had scored a brace for the Zimbabwean Warriors when they beat Zambia 2-1 in an AFCON qualifier but according to Middendorp a tight hamstring prevented him from playing and he was dearly missed by the one dimensional Chiefs attack on the day.
When asked about the costly mistake of Gordinho in the first half, which gifted Moseamedi the opening goal, this is all Middendorp could say.
– Report by Velile Mnyandu