After a bruising and physical Soweto derby, Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp has praised his side’s collective effort in picking up their first win over Orlando Pirates since 2014, while also taking on critics by adding that football is a contact sport.
The Soweto giants met at the FNB Stadium last Saturday and after an enthralling encounter which included six yellow cards and a red, Amakhosi ran out 3-2 winners ending their five-year wait for a derby win.
After the game Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena was angry about what he called ‘thuggish behaviour’ from the Chiefs players.
Those comments came after Chiefs defender Erick Mathoho was sent off for his part in an on-field brawl towards the end of the game. Mokwena also singled out the penalty call at the end of the game, which handed Chiefs the win, saying that Bernard Parker had dived to win the spot kick.
Middendorp, though, remained calm throughout and speaking to the club’s official website the German admitted that the result is all that matters.
‘What is important to understand that this is a collective effort … people must understand that everybody had to be prepared for this. The derby is not ordinary. This win against Orlando Pirates is a collective effort. This is when the individual performances don’t matter. What comes first is a win.
‘They had chances to equalise. We also had a chance to increase the lead, and they too could have taken a lead. That’s a derby match, and that’s how it goes. We maintained composure and knew we have time to win the match. Red cards are a character of a derby as well. It’s emotions, that is why 90,000 people pay to watch it. Cautions, penalties and other elements define the game. This is a contact sport, unlike golf or tennis, it is a contact sport.’
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