Mortified TTM coach Masutha apologises to the public after showing up at cup match with 14 players
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC (TTM) coach Joel Masutha has apologised to the South African football fraternity after his team embarrassingly lined up against SuperSport United with only 14 players on Saturday.
A mortified Masutha said their unprofessional conduct should serve as a lesson to all the people working at the much criticised club.
“I would like to apologise to the football fraternity‚ MTN‚ PSL and everyone who loves the game‚” said Masutha.
The match was allowed to continue because Fifa rules clearly stipulate that a professional team can start with no fewer than seven players including a goalkeeper.
“Yes‚ we will never shift the blame and we will never try to point fingers at other people‚ but I just feel that if we could have probably won the match if we had sorted out our admin on time.
"So‚ my apologies to the soccer fraternity. This is a big lesson to everyone involved in the running and working for the club.”
Asked to reflect on the match where TTM gave a solid performance despite their problems off the field‚ Masutha said his players were nervous during the opening exchanges and it was no surprise when they conceded three goals by Bradley Grobler‚ Iqraam Rayners and Ghampani Lungu.
“It is just that in the first 20 to 25 minutes or so‚ our players were tense and nervous because I only had like five days to work with them.
"It was a tough match‚ we were playing against the defending champions and they are not called the cup specialists for nothing.”
TTM launched a comeback with two goals by Mogakolodi Ngele on either half and that ensured that the match went into the closing stages balanced on a knife’s edge as they continued to push for the equaliser.
“At the same time‚ I thought our boys gave a very good account of themselves under the circumstances.
"We tried to play the way we wanted‚ it’s only that we were caught napping in the first 25 minutes for failing to deal with their overload on the sides and that resulted in the goals.
"We came back‚ did what we had to do and unfortunately we lost the match."
Victorious coach and defending champion Kaitano Tembo said they achieved their mission of making it to the semi-finals.
“We have to take it one game at a time and our main objective in this match against TTM was to get to the semis.
"That has always been our approach‚ to take it one game at a time and this gives us an opportunity to defend our trophy. We can now look forward to the semi-finals.”