Youngster and youth graduate Happy Mashiane received his marching orders at the end of the first half. This meant that Al Ahly had a numerical advantage going into the second half.
The Amakhosi technical staff had to make tactical changes in order to cope with their new circumstances.
“We couldn’t follow the plan that we’ve had.” He said to the media after the game.
“The red card turned out to be the killer; I had to change the game. In the second half, they put the gas to the floor, the same time we had the handbrake on.
“It was a good performance by Al Ahly, but shame for us we had to deal with a red card,”
Baxter was not too keen on bashing Happy Mashiane for his error. He believes that this is something Mashiane will simply learn from.
“He (Mashiane) is disappointed I am sure, but he’ll learn from it,” says Baxter.
““I thought even though they had a lot of the ball we did quite a good job of defending our box‚ and still being a bit dangerous.
“And if we’d gone in at half time with a complete team then we could have tweaked a few things.
“But with Happy’s red card‚ you’re going in and scrambling then to decide … it’s a cup final‚ you can’t go on and play 4-4-1 and only defend.
“So, we went with a 4-3-2 and bringing on Khama [Billiat]‚ which was a gamble because he has not played for so long.
“But even with that‚ I think the goals we gave away were poor goals.
“If we defend properly then we can extend that time when they don’t score and increase the frustration for them. And maybe then we get a set play or a counterattack.
“… But the lads did unbelievably well to get to this final.
“So, I think once the obvious disappointments of the defeat have settled, they will get the credit they deserve.” he added. Stuart Baxter Believes Happy Mashiane’s Red Card Made It Difficult for Them!