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Baxter on CAF final loss: 'Mashiane's red card turned out to be the killer'

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Happy Mashiane (Getty Images)
Happy Mashiane (Getty Images)

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter believes the red card Happy Mashiane received on Saturday in the CAF Champions League final was a "killer" to the game as it allowed Al Ahly to claim their 10th title.

The 23-year-old Mashiane was shown a straight red card on the stroke of half-time for a reckless challenge after the referee checked with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) as Al Ahly eased to a 3-0 win in Morocco.

As it happened | Al Ahly 3-0 Kaizer Chiefs

It took Al Ahly less than eight minutes after the second-half whistle sounded as goals from Mohamed Sherif, Mohamed Afsha, and Amr El Solia secured bragging rights for the Egyptians on the night at the Mohamed V Stadium.

"I thought with the challenges that we've had building up to the final, the players did really well," Baxter told reporters during a virtual press conference after the match.

"The opening of the game, we pressed high, but al Ahly were good with the ball. I thought we did that reasonably well, but we had less and less of our attacks.

"We couldn't follow the plan that we've had. 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 added: "Of course, you're disappointed, massively disappointed. The players in the dressing room are massively disappointed.

"I'm disappointed not with their workload, but in certain situations, the quality of our play was not good enough.

"Maybe we could a little at half-time, but then we're ten men on the field. It became a very steep mountain to climb."

Meanwhile, Al Ahly boss Pitso Mosimane claimed his third CAF Champions League-winners medal and was buoyant as he addressed the media.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns mentor admits that the victory was "really needed".

"We really needed this trophy; I know the Chief of my country also wanted their first star, but we wanted it more then them," said Mosimane.

"The tenth one is important. It's good for our history, it's good for our archives. And how better to do it with three goals.

"Yes, I understand, there was a red card, but red cards are part of football. You should not be reckless when you play the cup final, you should not be too emotional, and this happens in football," he continued.

"We deserve it. We won it. We've been scoring goals in the semi-finals. We've been scoring goals all the way.

"Al Ahly deserves the tenth trophy to make history."

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