Supersport United coach Eric Tinkler is not disappointed at the two-one defeat by TP Mazembe in the first leg final of the Caf Confederations Cup.
The 47 year old felt that it was a satisfactory result considering the circumstances the team had to go through ahead of the match.
The second leg will be played on Sunday at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Tinker was forced to travel with 17 players to Lubumbashi due to the others being injured and suspended.
He missed key players in important positions, but those who were available had to soldier on.
Captain Dean Furman was pleased with the performance, but admitted that they did allow Mazembe to play more in the later stages of the match.
Furman says, “I think towards the end our legs ran out a little bit and you saw they were pushing. They were looking for the extra goal, we had to hang on and we probably ran our luck a little bit towards the end to keep it two to one, but also there was outstanding defending.”
As expected it was a capacity crowd at the stadium, however Matsantsa a Pitori had already experienced such an environment in June.
Just like in the previous match in the group stages of the same competition, they allowed the homeside to score first.
However, Tinkler had said before the game, he was not too concerned about conceding.
He says, “I informed the players that it’s very important that we don’t concede in the first 20 minutes and we didn’t. I think we dominated the first 20 minute period and we created chances and I think it was after that that we kind of went to sleep a bit. We started backing off, they were playing long balls behind and the defence started dropping too deep. Second half we started well, we came back at them. We got the goal”
Mazembe scored their second goal in the second half after United had levelled matters not too long after recess.
Tinker does not think that two goals the opposition have heading into the second leg is something to be worried about.
Although defeat is not something to be proud of – United did have something to cheer them up.
Sipho Mbhule in his first start in this tournament scored the important away goal.
“I’m happy about the goal. I think it boosts my confidence very well because I think I will do well again when we play home. We played well as a team, we created chances first half, but we couldn’t convert. We came here for an away goal and we got the goal. So I think we will do well at home.”
United once again put up a performance against the DRC giants.
They will be at home in the second leg under conditions that favour them.
It’s the reason they are confident that the title will remain in South Africa; however they will continue to respect Mazembe who undoubtedly have quality on their side.