We were lucky, says Vermezovic

Kaizer Chiefs new coach Vladimir Vermezovic admitted luck was on his side when they scored a fortunate 3-1 win over hard working Bidvest Wits in their MTN8 quarterfinal clash at the Rand Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Serbian born coach was the first to congratulate the Students after the match saying they (Chiefs) got lucky. “Wits are a good side, but I am delighted to get through to the semifinals.”

Vermezovic said it would be a different ball game when Chiefs tackle Santos in their opening Premiership clash scheduled for the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

“Cup games are far different from the league which are much easier to prepare for. In the cup it is win or bust while there is not the same pressure on players in the league.

“I do not know much about Santos, but I will be asking my senior players to fill me in and help me prepare.”

Wits showed they are going to be a side to be reckoned with this season and the score flatters the Amakhosi.

A nightmare goalkeeping error form Wits teenage keeper Darren Keet in the 71st minute, when he dived over David Mathebula’s free kick, changed the course of this exiting end to end cup-tie.

Wits were stunned when Nkosinathi “Chippa” Nhleko scored in the third minute on his Chiefs debut. But the Students debutant Mark Haskins, levelled the tie three minutes from halftime.

The final goal came in injury time of the game with Wits chasing the equaliser and was scored by another debutant, Knowledge Musona.

But De Sa is not going to axe Keet. De Sa, a former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and national goalkeeper coach said: “I have a lot of sympathy for Keet.

“He is only 19 years old and is a big talent for the future. We all make mistakes and he will learn a tough lesson from his mistake.”

De Sa said Keet was in tears in the dressing room and blamed himself for the defeat, but, said De Sa: “That is the reaction I expected from him. He will move on and get over it.

“I believe in him and he believes in himself. He has a big future. There are few 19-year-olds in the PSL and none as good as Keet.

“There are plenty claiming to be younger than they are and Keet is the genuine article and will improve.”

De Sa was delighted with Haskins, fellow debutant Michael Morton, a defender who he switched to a defensive midfield role, and striker Calvin Kadi.

“Haskins is quality. Morton, another youngster, was unbelievable while Kadi had a great game.”

But De Sa said a number of his more experienced players did not come to the party.

“I was disappointed that a couple of players did not play as well as expected and I will be looking into those who did not come up to what I expect of them.

“Man of the Match was Chiefs midfielder Josta Dladla who has changed his position from a winger to a central midfield role by Vermezovic.

Said Dladla: “I am enjoying my soccer again and like playing in this new role. I will play anywhere the coach thinks I will benefit the team.”

Dladla said he was delighted for Nhleko after getting his first goal in his first official match for Chiefs.

“The goal was just reward for the hard work Chippa puts in at training and in the pre-season games. He told me this week he was determined to score against Wits and this has taken a lot of pressure off him.

“The fans are now on his side and realise he will make a big contribution to Chiefs this season.”

In Tuesday’s other quarterfinal AmaZulu edged out SuperSport United 4-3 on a penalty shootout after the teams were level 2-2 after extra time in their cup-tie played at Chatsworth.—Sapa

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