Cape Town City didn’t deal with SuperSport United’s crosses, says Eric Tinkler

Cape Town City striker Khanyisa Mayo (front), seen here competing in the air against Kegan Johannes of SuperSport United, scored the equaliser on Tuesday. Photo: BackpagePix

Cape Town City striker Khanyisa Mayo (front), seen here competing in the air against Kegan Johannes of SuperSport United, scored the equaliser on Tuesday. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Feb 22, 2024

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Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler was stung by his team’s Nedbank Cup defeat to SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday evening.

This round-of-32 clash ended 1-1 after regulation time. After extra time failed to separate the two teams, Gavin Hunt’s SuperSport won the resultant penalty shoot-out 3-1.

SuperSport goalkeeper Ricardo Goss, back from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Bafana Bafana, was the star for the Pretoria hosts after he made three penalty saves to make sure that his side went through to the last 16.

At the post-match presser, the crestfallen Tinkler could not hide his disappointment because he had advised his players about what to expect from their opponents. However, they failed to heed the warning and paid the price.

Shandré Campbell opened the scoring for SuperSport in the 20th minute, and Khanyisa Mayo levelled matters for City just before half-time.

“SuperSport are always a team that is difficult to play, especially as they have Gavin Hunt as their coach,” said Tinkler.

“The brand of football they play is very direct. They play with a lot of aggression and a lot of intensity. Winning the second ball is extremely important, and they do that well.

“You have to deal with a lot of crosses that are coming into the box. Their strikers (Etiosa) Ighodaro and Bradley (Grobler) are always going to be a threat with those balls coming in.

“We made the players aware that we have to deal with that. We didn’t do it, particularly in the first half. Their goal midway through the first half came from that.

“It is very disappointing because it is something we spoke about. We worked on it, and we knew it (was coming) – and then to concede like that ...”

Tinkler said his team’s first-half performance was below par.

“Our performance in the first half wasn’t great,” said Tinkler. “We struggled to connect, and our possession was poor.

“Also, defensively our organisation was poor, even though we managed to score the equaliser just before half-time.”

Tinkler felt the 1-1 scoreline after regulation time “was a fair result, and the penalty shoot-out was a lottery”.

Once the players are back home, Tinkler will reassess the way forward. The focus will now solely be on the Premiership.

Tuesday’s match turned out to be a dress rehearsal for City’s next Premiership encounter against the self-same SuperSport on Wednesday next week at the Cape Town Stadium.

There will be so much at stake because the two teams each have 30 points after 17 DStv Premiership matches.

Since SuperSport have a superior goal difference, they are in second place behind runaway log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

A win for City could see them move into second place at the expense of SuperSport.

Related Topics:

Nedbank CupSoccer