Freese lauds Stars for impressive cup run

Platinum Stars coach Allan Freese, right, expressed delight at his team’s impressive run in reaching the MTN8 final.

Freese, who took over as Stars coach from Cavin Johnson, said Dikwena’s playing personnel deserved all the plaudits for reaching their maiden Wafa Wafa final.

“I would like to thank the players for showing commitment,” Freese said after Stars beat Bidvest Wits 2-1 in the second leg of their semifinal tie on Tuesday night to triumph 6-3 on aggregate.

Malawian international Robert Ngambi scored a brace at Bidvest Stadium to set his side up for a final against Orlando Pirates in Durban. The Clever Boys had tried to stage a comeback but could score only once through Denver Mukamba.

“We did not play the way we wanted to play even though the score does not reflect that,” Freese said. “But in the last 10 minutes I think we played our usual passing game. Anyway, I am happy we were victors.”

Freese added that reaching the final for Stars was something of a milestone for the club. “Reaching this final means a lot for the club, and the province of North West, that a team from so far can also get into a final and I’m happy for the support that we have received.”

Meanwhile, Freese’s counterpart, Gavin Hunt, said Stars deserved to progress to the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium as they were superior to his team in both matches.

“Over the two legs Stars were better than us, to be fair,” Hunt said. “But we gave ourselves a mountain to climb with our defending. “I’m really struggling in that area, I hope we can improve that.”

But the former SuperSport United coach said his side’s Achilles heel was their finishing.

Hunt added that they created spaces and openings but the finishing was their biggest weakness on the night. “I thought we were good at times,” he said. “We applied all the pressure, we made all the play.”

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