JOHANNESBURG: The Italian pointed out that Kaizer Chiefs started the game as the better side and, as a result, scored the 1-0 thanks to Khama Billiat.
“I apologize to our supporters,” coach Giovanni Solinas remarked after going 2-1 to down to Orlando Pirates on Saturday. “It’s painful to lose the Soweto Derby.”
The Italian pointed out that Kaizer Chiefs started the game as the better side and, as a result, scored the 1-0 thanks to Khama Billiat.
“Thereafter we lost concentration,” Solinas explained, “losing the distances between the players.” The Buccaneers exposed those gaps by getting a penalty. But Itumeleng Khune managed to keep the ball out of the goal, making a brilliant save. That’s when the Chiefs coach thought, “We can win this Derby”.
It wasn’t to be. Soon after the saved penalty, Pirates scored twice in the space of three minutes. ‘We conceded two soft goals,” Solinas rued.
Chiefs struggled a bit to get back into the game before the half-time break, but they played much better in the second half. “There was balance in the second half,” the coach commented. “Nobody dominated. In my opinion the guys played well in the second half.”
Captain Itumeleng Khune also spoke about his disappointing not to win the Derby. “After I stopped the penalty, I told the guys to switch on. Unfortunately, they switched off.” The two goals were the result. “We were caught napping,” the goalkeeper added.
Leonardo Castro and Billiat came back from injury and Solinas felt that both did well. “They are two key players for Kaizer Chiefs.”
Looking ahead, the Italian said, “We are working hard on developing the mental strength of the players. Playing for Kaizer Chiefs is not easy, one needs to have a strong character. It’s about the players managing the pressure of playing for this big club. To be able to win trophies, we need players with strong mentality and character.”