Supersport United FC coach Eric Tinkler during the semi-final return 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Club Africain and Supersport United FC in Tunis, Tunisia on 22 October 2017 © BackpagePix
Monday Oct 23, 2017. 14:30
SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler says his side fully deserve their place in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup final.
The South African side claimed a superb 3-1 away win over Tunisia’s Club Africain on Sunday night, completing a 4-2 aggregate triumph.
United will now face defending Confed Cup champions TP Mazembe in the final over two legs in November, as they chase their first piece of continental silverware.
"I think the first 30 minutes of the first half, I thought we were very good. I thought we showed great composure on the ball. The decision making was very, very good,” said Tinkler, as quoted by Kick-Off.
“We knew they would come and play a 4-3-3 formation, we just weren't too sure whether they would play with three defensive midfielders or two defensive and one attacking in [Oussama] Daragi, whether he would start or not.
“I think the fact they played with defensive midfielders actually played to our advantage. That meant they would be sitting back and looking to only really hurt us on the counter, and I thought we dealt with them very well in the first 30 minutes.
"We created chances, we got the lead and immediately after scoring we changed the way we played. I think the players to a degree started to panic a little bit.
“We started just knocking long balls and that was playing straight into their hands. I felt the last 15 minutes of the first half they started coming at us and creating opportunities, and we had to rectify that obviously at half-time.
"I thought the response from the players in the second half was exceptional. We started showing the same intensity and composure. We got the lead with the second goal.
“It was disappointing how we conceded the penalty. We got caught on the counter which we always knew would be the only real weapon they would have against us.
"We landed up changing the formation going with three at the back, playing with a 3-5-2 and were now looking to break on the counter against them. We ended up getting the third and possibly could have got more.
"So I'm extremely proud of the performance of the team. It's been a long run to get where we are and we thoroughly deserve to be in that final.”
Tinkler also guided Orlando Pirates to the final of the Confed Cup in 2015, where they were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Etoile du Sahel.