Ekstein is taking his chance at Kaizer Chiefs, says Middendorp

Pule Ekstein

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He may have earned a second straight PSL Man-of-the-Match award for Kaizer Chiefs, but Hendrick ‘Pule’ Ekstein still feels that he needs to work on his finishing.

Ekstein was again a busy figure for the Amakhosi in their 3-2 victory over AmaZulu at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday night.

The 28-year-old playmaker, though, was unable to find the back of the net to round off his performance.

Ekstein’s best opportunity to score came in the 83rd minute, when he was in a one-on-one situation with Usuthu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha.

But instead of blasting the ball into the net, Ekstein tried to be too cute with a chip over the shot-stopper, and sent his effort wide.

“I think we played well from the first whistle to the last whistle. The only thing that we needed to do was to score goals, but we didn’t score many goals, we created chances. But I’m happy that we won,” Ekstein told SuperSport after the match.

“We knew it was not going to be easy playing against AmaZulu, but three points (are) important.

“The coaches are helping us too much, and I am happy that we won. I had to work on my scoring, whenever I get a chance.”

Coach Ernst Middendorp echoed Ekstein’s sentiments, but also praised his team for coming through a tough week in which they beat log leaders Wits, lost to Zesco United in Zambia, and then flew to Durban to face AmaZulu in Umlazi.

“Ekstein is taking his chance since he started commanding a regular place in the team. I am also happy about Bernard Parker. He’s a true professional,” the German mentor told the Chiefs website about his veteran striker, who scored with a powerful strike.

“It’s great to have a guy like him in the team. We look at the players holistically when we select a side, and Parker is doing well for us, he contributes holistically.

“We could have scored more, especially in the first half. Our decision-making robbed us of some possibilities, while we conceded goals in a way that I thought was not necessary.

“I am pleased with the win, and this will help our confidence going into Saturday’s Caf game (against Zesco United at FNB Stadium, 8pm).”

Source: iol