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Tinkler Delights In Late Winner

Cape Town City head coach Eric Tinkler was pleased to get the 2-1 win over AmaZulu in regulation time, and avoid extra time in their MTN8 quarter-final on Sunday.

Mdu Mdantsane scored a late winner for Tinkler’s team, to book their spot in the semi-finals, where they will face Swallows.

Earlier in the game Terrence Mashego had given City an early lead, but Lehlohonolo Majoro had equalised for Benni McCarthy’s team in the second half.

Tinkler says it was a tough game, and says they had to fight hard for the victory.

“Ja, this was gonna be a tough game, and if there’s one thing that I’ve tried to introduce here at Cape Town City is that, it’s not always about playing pretty football in terms of getting results, sometimes you got to play ugly football to get the result, and I think, to a degree, we did that tonight,” Tinkler said after the victory.

“I thought we started the game very well, I thought the first 15, 20 minutes, we looked good. We were playing according to the plan and instruction, looking to get into the wide areas. create the combinations, look to switch. And we done that. And we created one or two little situations that ended up leading to a very, very nice goal scored by Terrence.

“But I think immediately after that we shut down, we seem to go in our shell, and then we started having to soak up a lot of pressure from them, they started to press us a lot higher, we struggled to get out of our build up phase, once we got out of the build up phase, in our second phase, our passing was was not great.

“And we kept giving position back to them. We tried to fix that at halftime explaining to the importance of obviously working very, very hard.”

Tinkler says playing their first competitive game was very different to their previous preseason friendlies, and players worked harder in the game.

Considering the efforts put in, he was pleased to have avoided extra time.

“Yes, we’ve played seven friendly matches during the preseason, but nothing compares to a competitive match like we saw tonight,” he continued.

“I also think the intensity of the game was very, very high, because there was a lot of transitional phases, the team losing possession, having to recover and chase.

“So players worked harder today than probably they have in any of the friendlies that we played, so I explained to them at halftime, it’s going to be about who wants it more. And I think that’s what it was really, at the end of the day, we stuck in there, we unfortunately conceded the equalizer, but we kept going.

“We change the formation just to try and strengthen us a little bit more in the wide areas, allow our wingbacks to get forward. And when we did that, we got the winner right at the death. And I think the timing was obviously very, very good. I’m actually happy that we didn’t have to go into extra time, because I think then we’ll be stretching the the conditioning of the players.”