In their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Highlands Park last week Wednesday, Mbombela used a vast majority of Under-23 players, but this time they made no such mistake.
“We love development too much – we played Highlands with a majority of Under-23 players. But we came with only just one U23 player (for the Tuks game). We used the young players in the last game against Highlands – they did very well last week but we had to change.
“We only brought one Under-23 player for the game, this time we said let us use the more seasoned and senior players and see what happens, and it worked,” he said.
Mbombela could’ve easily won the game 6-0 or even 7-0, but their players were not sharp upfront, squandering clear-cut chances. Matsebula attributed the poor finishing to lack of match fitness.
“Our problem was match fitness, we had a majority of our senior players who had not had enough game time but they came through for us and got the result. They did their best and competed – I’m happy and satisfied. But the players will have to play these playoffs and gain match fitness because there is nowhere else where they can gain match fitness,” said Matsebula.
“Our weakness against Highlands was set-piece play, but with the changes that we made we were able to beat Tuks because they play the same style, so our technical team did well to change our approach to the game.”
“When you looked at the stands, you could swear that we were playing at home, the Tuks fans were just a handful. To all the Mbombela fans, we say thank you for the support,” Matsebula added.
Mbombela fans came in their numbers in five buses courtesy to the Mbombela municipality.
Would you like to place a soccer bet? Click here to get started in 3 easy steps.