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Football | CAF Confederations Cup

Eric Tinkler © Backpagepix

Tinkler hails gutsy United

SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler paid tribute to his players following an impressive performance in their 4-2 aggregate Caf Confederation Cup semifinal second leg win against Tunisian side Club Africain on Sunday.

Matsatsantsa went to a hostile Stade Olympique Radès with a 1-1 scoreline from the first leg. They appeared to be in for a mountain of a task, with some pre-match shenanigans from their hosts and the customary green lasers present on match day.

However, those nefarious efforts paled into insignificance as they focused on their game. A 16th minute Bradley Grobler opener calmed their nerves and rattled the home side. They kept the score that way for the reminder of the first half, but stepped up a gear in the second half.

Jeremey Brockie scored his 10th Confed Cup goal on 52 minutes, and smoke bombs began flying in from the stands. Four minutes later, Khalifa pulled one back but it was a little too late as Grobler grabbed his second of the match on 64 minutes.

It was the kind of performance that made Tinkler proud. It was also the first time United, the most successful South African club over the last 10 years, had reached a continental final. Some personal accolade for Tinkler as he also became the first SA coach to reach two Caf Confed Cup final. He previously did so with Orlando Pirates. SuperSport will now face TP Mazembe in the title tie between 17 and 20 November.

But for now, they will be forgiven for indulging in this massive victory.

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Meanwhile, the SA Football Association (Safa) congratulated SuperSport for this feat.

“To the club chairman, CEO, management and technical staff, we congratulate you for this historic achievement of reaching the final of such a prestigious continental competition. As the Association, we wish the team the best of luck and urge you to go all the way and lift the title,” said Safa president, Dr Danny Jordaan.

“We would also like to congratulate coach Eric Tinkler, his assistant Kaitano Tembo and the entire technical team for a job well done. We take pride in seeing South African coaches doing well locally as well as on the continental stage,” added Dr Jordaan.


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