Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen believes his side showed a lot of ‘tenacity and strong willpower’ to overcome Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup.
The Chili Boys eliminated Sundowns and advanced to the next round of the competition after claiming a 2-1 victory at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Larsen says he is delighted to have brought the winning feeling back to the club, while also giving Sundowns credit for putting up a real fight.
‘We knew it was going to be a tough game, and it was. Credit must go to Sundowns, they made changes to their team, but you could see their true quality. We had moments where we had our backs against the wall. But I thought defensively we showed a lot of tenacity and strong willpower,’ Larsen told SuperSport TV after the game.
‘We could have got a few more goals, they could have got one or two more as well. But it was a great cup encounter for everyone to enjoy. I’m just happy for everyone at the club, just to get that winning feeling back. It’s been a long time since the club felt this way. The people of PE and East London can now walk with some pride. I hope this is a story of good things to come.
‘We know where our bread and butter lies, but we would like to go as far as we can in the cup as well.’
The former Golden Arrows mentor went on to explain his reasons to make a double substitution with only 30 minutes left to play, while also reserving praise for Tercious Malepe, who was named Man of the Match.
‘We knew they were going to push for the winner, they don’t want to go to extra time, and they were pushing. And with Mark’s ability with running with the ball and Ruzaigh’s pace we thought we would catch them [on the counter-attack] and it came out that way. We had three very good chances. It’s good when these tactics work out. But credit must go to the players, they trained well for the last two weeks and we’re seeing them reap the rewards.
‘Tercious Malepe is growing in confidence. Very underrated player in my opinion, we’re still going to see the best of him. But it’s all about the collective. We’re a work in progress, we’ll get there,’ he concluded.
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