Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp says his players undermined Maritzburg United and approached their semifinal match as if they had already won it.
Chiefs were the favourites to go through to the final and face Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 14, but that wasn’t to be as a Judas Moseamedi’s brace humbled Amakhosi to a 2-1 defeat at a packed Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Team of Choice could have won the match with a bigger margin but were let down by their misfiring in front of goals.
Without mentioning the names, Middendorp feels the performance of certain players was below par.
“We just have not seen our players perform the way they did. It happens all over the world sometimes you think you have already won the game (before playing it),” said Middendorp.
“But we have seen a number of players from our side not really into it… It’s a reality and it’s not about mentioning them one by one – it’s just that we have not performed as we can.
“It’s a deserved win (for Maritzburg). They had opportunities to score the second goal earlier and our defence was definitely not present. Our combination through the midfield was not existent and we were just a bit surprising.”
Meanwhile, Chiefs forward Khama Billiat was ruled out of the match after reporting from national team duty with a tight hamstring, even though he made the trip to Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
“He played already with a tight hamstring for his national team (Zimbabwe) and there is nothing we can do. He played with pain against Botswana and played against Zambia,” stated Middendorp.
“It was not going to be possible (for him to play). We tried everything, but it was impossible to bring him in.”
Amakhosi were also missing goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, Eric Mathoho and Willard Katsande due to suspension.
By Ofhani Munyai