Victorious Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael took a dig at counterpart Steve Komphela’s tactics and said Kaizer Chiefs played right into their hands as the Bethlehem-based club booked a cup final place for the first time in almost two decades.
Stars beat Chiefs 2-0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday to reach the Nedbank Cup final with two first half goals from Harris Tchilimbou in their semifinal and will play for a trophy for the first time since 1999.
Eymael said they had planned the simplicity of the two goals‚ both from crosses that evaded Chiefs’ three-man central defence and were easily finished by the Congolese international.
“I only know one coach in the world who can play a fantastic 3-5-2 and that is Antonio Conte (Chelsea)‚" the outspoken Stars coach said.
"For me‚ he’s the only one in the world who can do 3-5-3. That’s my thinking.
“And personally ... and you will think that I’m arrogant … but I never lost in my life against someone playing 3-5-2.
“We knew that the wingbacks‚ when they are going up‚ you can catch them fast on the counter attack and are directly one-on-one with the centre backs‚ who are not really quick.
“We took advantage of that and we were clinical in the box‚ especially in the first half.
“Our plan of action was to absorb the pressure of Chiefs and counter‚” he added.
“It was an easy plan.”
But he also admitted Stars had been fortunate that Chiefs made so many misses in front of goal.
“Thela Ngobeni made some fantastic saves‚” said the Belgian‚ who thanked his players‚ staff and the club’s management for unwavering support over the season.
“I think we deserved to win but we had to fight for it.
“I don’t think anybody in South Africa put a R10 bet when I took over the team on us going to the final of the Nedbank Cup. But we did it.”