Pitso Mosimane’s Al-Ahly scored three goals in the second half to successfully defend their title, making it a 10th in total for the Cairo club
Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Shaun Bartlett says his former club paid the price for a lack of experience in the Caf Champions League final defeat against Al Ahly at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca on Saturday.
The moment which undeniably swung the match came just before the interval, when a reckless tackle by Happy Mashiane on Akram Tawfik in first half added time resulted in the Chiefs winger being sent off, following a VAR check.
The challenge was made inside the Al Ahly half and was not needed – Mashiane’s rush of blood to the head proved to be Chiefs’ downfall, as Bartlett said in the SuperSport TV studio after the game in Morocco:
“The sending off made a massive difference as far as the outcome of the game was concerned, but I still have questions as to where would the goal have come from,” the ex-Bafana Bafana forward began. “Even with 11 players on the field, there was no real threat for me, from Kaizer Chiefs as to going forward, supporting [Samir] Nurkovic, having runs from the midfield.
“They were hoping that Mashiane would be one of those players, but that inexperience with the tackle, in the opposing half, was unnecessary and it cost them the game.”
Fellow SuperSport TV analyst Stanton Fredericks concurred with Bartlett in terms of Mashiane’s misdemeanor proving fatal.
“Inexperience really got the better of Kaizer Chiefs,” the former Bafana Bafana, Orlando Pirates and Amakhosi midfielder said after the match. “When Mashiane got the red card, the writing was on the wall.
“If it was 11 v 11, Chiefs were defensively strong and could have possibly got a goal,” Fredericks continued, “but when they went to 10 men, the frailties came and I think they really exposed that right-back position, where the second and the third goal came from.
“Kaizer Chiefs just couldn’t hang on long enough, but the quality of Al Ahly came to the fore and it was just a matter of time before they scored.”