Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeCarling Knockout CupTembo - Why I Stuck With Young Manqele Vs Stellies

Tembo – Why I Stuck With Young Manqele Vs Stellies

Richards Bay coach Kaitano Tembo said it would have killed the confidence of Philasande Manqele if he didn’t play him in the Carling Knockout Cup semi-final on Saturday because he took them this far.

Manqele, who was doing his matric this year, was in goals in the club’s first match when they beat Moroka Swallows in the Last-16 round. Tembo opted for him again when they beat Orlando Pirates in the quarter-final, saving the penalty of Deon Hotto to see Bay go through.

However, Jackson Mabokgwane, before the game on Saturday, had started the last three league matches and was comfortable, with many expecting him to be in goals against Stellies since he has the experience, unlike Manqele.

“It was always going to be difficult one,” admits Tembo.

“Because we have made a decision that Philasande [we] would give him a cup run and we couldn’t turn again and say, ‘now, we are in the semi-final, we drop him’.

“We could have lost the game as well with Jackson in goals and we would go back and say ‘maybe we should have done this’. For us, we had to be consistent on the decision that we made.”

Manqele didn’t always look comfortable on Saturday, seeing the ball squirm through his fingers but luckily going away for a corner in the first half. For the goal scored by Devin Titus, Iqraam Rayners flicked it in the box and Manqele failed to hold it before Titus finished it off from close range for the opener.

Tembo had given the young Manqele a chance in the cup after Salim Magoola excused himself from playing in this competition due to his Islamic belief since he is Muslim and can’t associate himself with alcohol.

“We started Philasande when we didn’t have a goalkeeper and he took us this far and why not give him that opportunity again,” added Tembo.

“It’s okay we lost the game but it is good for the youngster because this will do a lot in terms of confidence, in terms of knowing that we believe in him. So, I thought he did well, he was just left a little bit exposed at the back.”

Stellenbosch will now meet TS Galaxy in the Carling Knockout Cup final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on 16 December, after Tim Sukazi’s club beat AmaZulu 3-2 at the final venue on Sunday.

Bay, who are second from bottom in the league with 10 points after 13 matches, will now turn their focus to climb up the table when they visit Royal AM at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday.

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.