Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Clive Barker was delighted by the quality of football on display despite his side going down 3-1 to Orlando Pirates on Tuesday.
Aces gave as good as they got in a frantic first period but it was all hands to the pump in defence after the interval as Pirates charged forward.
Barker admits that he had hoped to take the game the distance to improve their chances, but believes that Pirates were worthy winners in the end.
"It was a wonderful game of cup football. It was end-to-end stuff. They were too good for us in the end. In the last 20 minutes they dominated, and it was tough to keep defending.
"I thought if we could run it down to a penalty shootout we'd have more chance. But, they got the second goal which was the one that was going to count.
"Yeah, (losing Eduardo Ferreira) ruined it for us because we were going to bring Mark (Mayambela) on closer towards the end. We were forced to show our hand a little bit earlier, but I thought Thabang (Rooi) played really well and I was happy.
"Congratulations to Pirates, good luck in the next round. It was a helluva match and I'm glad we were associated with it. It was some good football."
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