Tembo makes his mark

HARARE - Zimbabwean coach Kaitano Tembo repaid the trust shown in him by the SuperSport United hierarchy after guiding Matsatsantsa to the semi-finals of the MTN8 in South Africa on Saturday night.

SuperSport, who are defending champions of the richest knockout competition in the Super Diski, beat Orlando Pirates 4-3 after a penalty shootout.

The tie had ended 2-2 in regulation time after Zambian forward Augustine Mulenga had given Pirates the lead before Dean Furman restored parity following a good team move.

Zimbabwean forward Evans Rusike gave Matsatsantsa the lead for the first time in the game when he was teed-up by Bradley Grobler.

However, the Sea Robbers were not behind for long as they equalised through defender Gladwin Shitolo.

In extra-time, Pirates had a perfect opportunity to win the quarter-final but Mulenga had his spot kick saved by SuperSport United goalkeeper Ronwen Willams.

Williams went on to save Thembinkosi Lorch and Innocent Maela’s penalties as Matsatsantsa booked their last-four spot.

The victory was another feather on Tembo’s cap after he was recently appointed the Matsatsantsa head coach following many months of dithering by the club bosses.

Tembo, who made his name in Zimbabwe as a tough tackling centre half for both the Warriors and Dynamos, was handed temporary reigns following Eric Tinkler’s resignation back in March this year.

The Zimbabwean held fort as he managed to save United from relegation as they finished in a respectable seventh place last season.

During the preseason, the club was heavily linked with Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael but in the end, Tembo got the nod on a full time basis shortly before the start of the 2018-19 season.

His first game in charge did not go according to script as Matsatsantsa went down 2-0 away to Cape Town City FC earlier this month.

United, however, got their campaign up and running with a 1-0 win over AmaZulu with Rusike scoring the only goal of the game last Wednesday at the Lucas Morpe stadium.

Speaking after the win over Pirates at the Orlando Stadium, Tembo paid special tribute to his players for the great character they showed.  

“I think, I’m really proud of the guys. I think they left everything out there. It wasn’t an easy game. Pirates controlled most of the possession,” Tembo told SuperSport TV.

“But we also tried to control where we wanted to have the ball and when we got to certain areas, we were putting pressure on them to try and get them on the transition.

“I think we had a couple of breaks, where we could’ve done better in terms of decision-making, choosing the right options as well.

“But I’m happy with the performance. I’m proud of the guys.

“I think we’re improving gradually, which is key because we just come off pre-season and this is our third game in seven days and we played one 120 minutes.
“So it’s not easy. But I’m happy I’m proud of the guys.”

His captain, Furman, was also ecstatic with the win after the match. 

“I think early on, we allowed Pirates too much pressure and time on the ball. We showed them too much respect. I think the goal changed that for us,” Furman told SuperSport TV.

“It showed that we have nothing really to fear. For long periods, obviously Pirates dominated. We lost our legs at the back, but we had to hang on and we put in a solid shift in defence,” Furman said after the game.”

Comments (1)

Im very proud of Kaitano Tembo who is a very humble guy and neighbour.I wish him the best in his Coaching carrear and as our only citizen coach in SA Im proud keep up the good work dont allow haters to affect your performance.

eddos - 17 August 2018

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