Luc Eymael, coach of Free State Stars
Monday Apr 23, 2018. 14:00
Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael says he has never lost to a 3-5-2 formation, following his side’s impressive win over Kaizer Chiefs in the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup this past weekend.
The match will be remembered more for the violence and destruction on behalf of the Chiefs fans which followed, but Eymael’s side deserve credit for a great showing as underdogs at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
It will be Ea Lla Koto’s first cup final since 1999, when they ended as runners-up to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Rothmans Cup (now known as the Telkom Knockout).
The result saw Amakhosi coach Steve Komphela tender his resignation immediately after the game, and one of the major gripes of fans was his recent determination to play a formation with three centre-backs.
“For me personally, I never lost in my life playing against a team playing 3-5-2," said Eymael after his first win over Chiefs since coming to South African football.
“So we knew that with the wingbacks going down we should go fast on the counter attack. Totally, we profited from that and we scored. We were clinical in the box, especially in the first half.
“But I want to congratulate first my players, they did a fantastic job. I also want to thank a lot of my tactical staff and my boss who support us very well.”
He added: “I said to them [his players] at half-time please relax and I said the biggest enemy of Free State Stars in the second half is Free State Stars.
“I told them remain humble and please play like it’s 0-0 knowing that you’re leading 2-0. Be clever, keep our structure, keep the blocks compact.”