Baxter Reacts To CAFCL Final Defeat
Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has reacted to his side’s defeat in the CAF Champions League final, saying the red card changed the game.
The Englishman was in charge of his first game on the sidelines after receiving his work permit in time.
However, he saw his side go 3-0 down to Al Ahly, who lifted their 10th continental crown.
Baxter insisted that his players started well, but dropped of towards the latter stages of the first half before the red card by Happy Mashiane changed the tie.
“I thought with the challenges that we’ve had building up to the final, the players were in a very good head space. When they went into the game, I though they were doing well,” he told reporters.
“The opening of the game was ok. We intended to press them high, but when they are calm and they got out of the press a few times, the younger players lose heart. They drop off and then, of course, Al Ahly are good with the ball.
“Then you have to defend in a lower block. I thought we did that reasonably well, but we had less and less of our attacking game, because our first passes out of their pressure were not good enough and therefor our attacks became too short.
“We couldn’t follow the plan that we’ve had.
“The red card just before half-time it turned out to be the killer. That, plus the fact that they scored an early goal in the second half. I had to change the game, I have to try to make more attacking options, knowing that we are short to defend.
“The second half they put the gas to the floor, the same time we had the hand break on. It was a good performance by Al Ahly, but shame for us that we’ve had to deal with the red card.”