Swallows FC head coach Ernst Middendorp has revisited his Nedbank Cup final defeat with Kaizer Chiefs against TS Galaxy when discussing upsets of cup competitions.
On Wednesday evening, Gauteng ABC Motsepe League leaders, who are 30 places below SuperSport United in the South African football league pyramid beat four-time PSL league winner Gavin Hunt 2-1 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
It’s the first upset of the 2022/23 edition and Middendorp admits it’s something that will never change but he’s not sure if it was worse than having one hand on the cup and losing out to a second-division side, as was the case against the Rockets in May 2019.
“I find it very interesting to see… Pirates lost to Maluti, the college team, I think 4-1 or something, Dondol [won] now, it will always happen,” Middendorp said when asked about cup upsets.
“What is more dramatic? Losing to Maulti or Dondol in the first round, or going all the way to the final and then losing to a lower division side… I don’t know what’s painful, more discussable, delicate, or whatever, but it happens all the time.
“I remember, it was described as a disaster, [we were in] ICU, whatever – football is a worldwide respectful game and you play eleven against eleven.
“You play football with your body, your mind. If the mindset and brain of certain guys in certain teams are not working, it doesn’t matter which players or team, you can do whatever you want as a coach, you can shout around – be the crazy man on the sideline.
“If it is gone and you feel it, I think Gavin Hunt would tell you at a certain moment, he thought ‘oh something will happen here today’ – you feel it, you know the players and how far they are. And many players were probably not in the game to push forward and make it happen.”
The German mentor added that they can’t afford to have any complacency against Stellenbosch this weekend and that he feels teams from lower divisions or struggling in the league will always show more hunger in the cup competitions.
Steve Barker’s side will host the Soweto-based outfit at Athlone Stadium on Saturday afternoon (15h00).