Head coach Joel Masutha apologised on Saturday after Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) got their campaign in South African top-flight football off to a dysfunctional start.
TTM bizarrely named just three substitutes on their bench in an MTN8 quarter-final clash against SuperSport United at Thohoyandou stadium.
Teams are usually allowed to name nine substitute options and can choose three when making substitutions.
"I would like to apologise to the football fraternity and to everybody who loves the game," Masutha said post-match.
"We will never try and shift the blame and point fingers at other people but I do feel if we had sorted out our administration on time we maybe would have won the match."
Masutha pointed to the club failing to register their new signings on time as the reason for their limited numbers named in the club's first-ever match-day squad.
"It is water under the bridge but it is a good lesson for everyone involved in the running of the club."
TTM found themselves 3-0 down after 33 minutes as they were outclassed in the opening stages but fought back with two goals by Mogakolodi Ngele as SuperSport tired in the later stages.
SuperSport hung on to advance to the next round of the competition with a 3-2 win.
"They (SuperSport) are not called cup specialists for nothing, but at the same time, the boys gave a very good account of themselves. They tried to play the way we wanted, we were just caught napping in the first 25 minutes, failing to deal with an overload on the sides but otherwise we came and did what we had to do. Unfortunately, we lost."
TTM next turn their attention to the league where they face fellow new boys TS Galaxy next Sunday.
Kick-off is at 15:30.
- Compiled by Baden Gillion