The look in his eyes told the story of a man desperate to turn things around. After getting knocked out in the MTN8 semi-finals, the Italian coach had hoped he would inspire Amakhosi to success in the Telkom Knockout. But it was not to be. Chiefs were knocked out in the last four by Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, losing 2-1.
Chiefs went into the game with a score to settle after losing by the same score in the Absa Premiership last month. It hurts for Chiefs because they now have to accept the fact that they have gone 11 matches without a victory over Pirates, the longest Chiefs have gone without a win over their biggest rivals.
“I'm not feeling good, this is very painful. We tried to fight until the last second. We created chances and in the end of the game we were unlucky because we didn't score,” Solinas said.
“Sometimes football is about little details and today Pirates took their chances, because maybe if we scored in the last chance and we go to extra time maybe we would have won the match in the extra time and in the penalty shoot-outs.
“But this if football. I think in this moment we deserved to score, but it’s ... painful. I want to apologise to the supporters because they supported the team; they supported the players. This is disappointing, it's painful. Nothing more to say after that.”
Chiefs, who finished third last season, will begin their CAF Confederation Cup campaign against Zimamoto, who play in the Zanzibar Premier League, in the preliminary round at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday (19h30).
Solinas has counted the Confederation Cup as one of the trophies Amakhosi are looking to win this season.
“We started the season with several targets, several objectives,” Solinas said.
“The first one was the MTN8 and now we lost the opportunity to win this cup (TKO). Now we have three more trophies – the league, CAF Confederation Cup and the Nedbank Cup. We'll continue fighting.
“Me, I know I'll never give up. Me, I'll continue to work hard to try and win the trophies. I'll try to improve the team. Me, I'll never give up. Yes, I feel pain today, it’s very painful.”