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alex ferguson praises chiefs

By unknown | Jul 21, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Thami Nqolobe

Thami Nqolobe

Alex Ferguson, manager of English Premiership and European champions Manchester United, was full of praise for Kaizer Chiefs, who drew 1-1 with his side in a Vodacom Challenge encounter at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

A relieved Ferguson did not expect that Amakhosi would match his lads pound for pound as they made them chase shadows in the early stages of the game.

"My guys played well but struggled as Kaizer Chiefs gave them a tough time and were excellent, but we came back gained momentum and managed to equalise. Chiefs played well and I was impressed," said a jubilant Ferguson.

Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertrugral was upbeat about his boys' performance and told Sowetan, "It was a learning period for my young guys and I am very happy that they matched Manchester United and showed some of their skills, but there is a lot to be done as we are preparing for the league season that starts in August."

The man who gave the Red Devils a torrid time whenever in possession of the ball was Gert Schalkwyk but he was let down by teammate Siphiwe Tshabalala who missed a glorious scoring opportunity in the seventh minute.

He saw his shot blocked.

As all eyes were on the visitors' England international striker, Wayne Rooney, he was not in the game from the onset. In fact, he was chasing the ball most of the time and his passes were easily intercepted by his opponents.

Rooney was replaced in the 69th minute by Gibson Darron and booed by the fans as he left the field.

He was lucky not to be shown a red card by referee Kenias Marange after he deliberately kicked Chiefs substitute, Reneilwe Lotsholonyane who toyed with him.

Ferguson was quick to defend his temperamental striker after he was asked in a press conference about the behaviour of his striker.

"Wayne is a born fighter and at times very aggressive but he is a good player and you must understand him. It was not his day today [Saturday]."

The game started on a high note and the home side were all over their more experienced opponents but could not penetrate their defence manned by Gary Neville, Wes Brown, Nemenja Vidic and John Oshea.

l Former Chiefs midfielder David Obua is set to join Hearts FC in Scotland. - additional reporting by BBC


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