Golden Arrows midfielder Nkanyiso Cele not reading too much into early MTN8 exit
Posted: 14 August 2017 Time: 14:50
Golden Arrows midfielder Nkanyiso Cele has already shrugged off their dramatic exit from the MTN 8 and is looking to make amends when they kick-off their league campaign this weekend.
Arrows succumbed to the pressures of a sudden-death penalty kick as they were eliminated by defending champions Bidvest Wits in their quarterfinal fixture on Friday evening.
Fans witnessed six red cards at the Bidvest Stadium, as Slavko Damjanovic, Danny Phiri, Siyabonga Dube, Gavin Hunt, Clinton Larsen and Mandla Ncikazi were all sent off in an ill-tempered 2017/18 PSL season opener.
Cele, who was the only surviving central midfielder on the park for the visitors, chose to look beyond the controversies and felt his side put out a good fight but were unfortunate not to convert their opportunities.
“I think we need a little bit of discipline, but you know these things happen in football when the game [tempo] is high and emotions are all over the place,” said Cele.
“I think it was a good start and a good fight [from the team]. It’s the first game, we can’t yet pinpoint everything and I think everyone will get better as time goes by.
“It’s a pity we couldn’t finish the game off because we had the chances, we just couldn’t finish them off."
Having come so close to advancing to the semi-finals for the first time since Arrows won it back in 2009, Cele admitted there is plenty room for improvement but refused to dwell on the disappointing defeat.
“It’s going to be very difficult [to overcome the result] because we had the chances to win, but we have to learn from the mistakes we made and move forward,” he added.
“There is room for improvement, we just have to go back, work on some things and move forward. The game happened and there’s nothing we can do but to move forward now.”
Abafana Bes’thende next visit Ajax Cape Town in their Absa Premiership opener next Saturday, and the 26-year-old deems it imperative to start the season on a high note, in order to alleviate any pressures of dropping down the log standings at the start of the campaign.
“The important game will be against Ajax, we have to win that game. It will be a crucial game because we need to start the season on a high. We need to win the first few games so that we move away from the relegation zone,” he concluded.