We still have a chance - Ertugral
We still have a chance - Ertugral

Posted in News on Sep 09, 2001.

Kaizer Chiefs need to register a scoring draw away to El Ismailia in a fortnight to go though to the semifinals of the Mandela Cup and coach Muhsin Ertugral is confident the Glamour Boys can achieve this result.

Amakhosi were held to a goalless draw in the quarterfinal first leg by an ultra-defensive Ismailia side at Ellis Park on Sunday.

The Egyptians deployed five defenders at the back with one midfielder occasionally drifting back into defense and this frustrated Chiefs throughout the afternoon.

Ertugral said he was not overly disappointed by this outcome, as he believed he had a side capable of producing positive results in the second leg. "It was clear that they came here for a draw and not to concede any goals," said Ertugral.

"I was disappointed in that they managed to slow us down and we could not create more scoring chances," said Ertugral. "Having said that, I am very confident that our boys can do the job in the second leg."

Amakhosi did not have the luxury of sensational players like Lucky Maselesele, who is not registered for this Caf campaign. Other players who were also missing on the Chiefs line up included Kenny Niemach, Nhlanhla Mathebula and offensive midfielder Jossias Macamo.

Macamo cannot play for Amakhosi in the currently Mandela Cup campaign after featuring for his former club Costa do Sol in the Champions League. "We only had 17 players to chose from and please I am not complaining and am merely highlighting the facts," said Ertugral.

Daniel Matsau, who netted twice for Chiefs in this campaign, was ruled out for the entire African safari with a broken shinbone. "Our resources were limited," said Ertugral.

"But that was not the only problem. We have played a lot of games in a short space of time and the players had very little time to recover."

The 2001 BP Top Eight champions had very little or no time at all to rest since the Telkom Charity Cup on July 28. Chiefs started the league campaign with a 1-0 victory against Wits FC on August 8 and then moved on to beat Ria Stars three days later.

But Chiefs were probably stretched to the limit in their Top Eight triumph against Sundowns on August 19. Both teams were deadlocked 2-2 at the end of regulation time and still failed to break the logjam in extra time. Amakhosi went on to win after a pulsating penalty shootout.

Ertugral said he believed he charges would be ready in a fortnight. "Ismailia are one of the best sides not only in Egypt but in the rest of the continent," he said. "But they have their own weaknesses. They are slow at the back and we have to capitalise on that in the second leg."

"But I was very disappointed with the support," he said. "This was the biggest game for us and yet we could not get more supporters to the stadium. It is very important to have the supporters behind us to motivate the players."

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