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Middendorp: Football Is A Contact Sport...

There has been a lot said since the weekend’s bitterly-fought Soweto Derby, and Kaizer Chiefs’ Ernst Middendorp has chipped in with his thoughts on the physical affair.

Read: Praise For Scoring Bafana Star In Europe

There were six bookings and a straight red card as Chiefs beat Orlando Pirates on Saturday afternoon to go 10 points clear at the top of the Absa Premiership table, with Rulani Mokwena complaining after the game about their opponent’s ‘thuggish behaviour’. 

Amakhosi defender, Erick Mathoho, was given his marching orders for his part in an on-the-field brawl that ensued towards the end of the game, while Mokwena was also critical of Bernard Parker as he accused him of diving to win the penalty that secured the Glamour Boys the three points.

Middendorp is pleased with his side though, praising them for their ‘collective effort’ at FNB Stadium as they extended their lead at the top of the table, saying the events defined the game.

Speaking to Chiefs ‘official website, the German said, “What is important to understand that this is a collective effort… People must understand that everybody had to be prepared for this. The Derby is not ordinary. This win against Orlando Pirates is a collective effort. This is when the individual performances don’t matter. What comes first is a win.

Read: Khune To Play Hero For Chiefs?

“They had chances to equalise. We also had a chance to increase the lead, and they too could have taken a lead. That’s a derby match, and that’s how it goes. We maintained composure and knew we have time to win the match. Red cards are a character of a derby as well. It’s emotions, that is why 90,000 people pay to watch it. Cautions, penalties and other elements define the game. This is a contact sport, unlike golf or tennis, it is a contact sport.”

Middendorp now has to prepare his troops to face Maritzburg United after the international break, knowing that Willard Katsande, Daniel Akpeyi and Mathoho are all suspended. 

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