Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane is of the view that Kaizer Chiefs should have kept Stuart Baxter in the stands as he’d been in the semifinal meeting against Wydad Casablanca and allowed Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard to lead the team in the CAF Champions League final against his team on Saturday.
Chiefs opted to have Baxter on the bench when they lost 0-3 to Ahly in the final at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco.
It was Baxter’s first match in charge since his return to the club to replace Gavin Hunt, who guided them to the semifinal before he was fired. “The surprise was Baxter on the bench and Khama Billiat starting from the bench,” Mosimane said after the match.
“We knew Chiefs’ starting line-up. Our scout identified their players who were wearing bibs and those who weren’t. We scouted their pictures during their training sessions. We knew that those who were wearing the bibs would start. Everything came out as we expected.
“For me, it is to give respect to coach Gavin because he doesn’t get credit for bringing the team to the semifinals. You must give credit to coach Arthur with his assistant Sheppy for bringing the team to the final.
“Also, credit to Stuart. I know he has been working behind the scenes and helping them. But as a local and a township boy, I’m very happy for Zwane. “If it was my way, I think he should have finished what he started. But let’s not forget Hunt, he has done well and the way they played, it suited them in this competition.”
With the Champions League title his third, and second with Ahly in succession, Mosimane was full of praise for his players and said they deserved to win their 10th crown. “We really needed this trophy. I know the team from my country also wanted their first star, but we wanted it more than them,” Mosimane said.
“The 10th one is important. It is good for history. It is good for our archives. How better to do it with three goals. Yes, I understand that there was a red card [Happy Mashiane], but that’s part of football. You should not be reckless if you play the cup final. You should not be too emotional and this happens in football.”
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