My boys were tired, says Muhsin

MPUMALANGA, SOUTH AFRICA - 29 June 2008, Siphelele Mthembu during the inaugural Mpumalanga PremierÕs International Football Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mbabane Highlanders held at the Atlantic Stadium in Witbank, South Africa.\nPhoto by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images\n\nSOLITARY CHANCE: Siphelele Mthembu. page 17
MPUMALANGA, SOUTH AFRICA - 29 June 2008, Siphelele Mthembu during the inaugural Mpumalanga PremierÕs International Football Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mbabane Highlanders held at the Atlantic Stadium in Witbank, South Africa.\nPhoto by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images\n\nSOLITARY CHANCE: Siphelele Mthembu. page 17

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Kaizer Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral believes that minor injuries and fatigue to some of his key players resulted in his side's loss to Manchester United in the Vodacom Challenge at the weekend.

He thinks the derby against Orlando Pirates took a lot out of his players, who were reduced to amateurs by the Red Devils, who played this final game as a practise match.

"I was worried because my side had sustained minor injuries from the Pirates game and that game itself took a lot out of the players," said Ertugral.

"But it was a testing period for us because we had a number of new players and we were going to guard against giving the ball away easily."

The European and English Premiership champions planned to slow the game for the local side and it worked, because the hard running by Chiefs was nowhere to be seen.

Amakhosi also fell into the trap of playing a casual game, and they paid dearly when the Red Devils struck.

United were very disciplined and tight at the back. They only allowed Chiefs a solitary chance at goal when Siphelele Mthembu's groundshot beat goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak, but the ball was saved by Nemanja Vidic on the goal-line in the 30th minute.

Chiefs defender Jimmy Tau, who was the captain in this encounter, tried to lead by example when he made numerous dashing runs from the right flank, and sending the ball inside their opponents' goal area, but his forwards were easily dispossessed.

The score could have been higher, but Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune tried hard and saved some dangerous shots from the English side's forwards.

But it was evident that fatigue was taking its toll on Khune, who failed to display his usual acrobatic saves - his speciality.

Ryan Giggs was the first to bulge the net from a Lee Martin pass in the 39th minute.

After this goal Wayne Rooney increased the tally in the 56th minute.

Tom Cleverley increased the margin to 3-0 in the 62nd minute and the last goal of the day was scored by Frazier Campbell four minutes before full time.

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