Bloemfontein Celtic Malawian coach John Maduka says he is excited to have guided his South African team to their first Nedbank Cup final in 35 years.
Phunya Sele-Sele, as Celtic are popularly known in the Rainbow Nation, winged into the final after thumping Baroka FC, which has two Malawians Gerald Phiri Jnr and Richard Mbulu, 3-0 on Saturday.
Celtic last qualified for the final of the competition in 1985 when they beat African Wanderers to win what was then known as the Mainstay Cup.
Maduka was quoted by goal.com yesterday as having credited his charges for the convincing victory.
“I think we started well, we knew they were a team that would try and get us on the counter-attack.
“So, we had to make sure we took the game to them and also make sure we were balanced at the back because we knew they would be quick on the break.
“In the first half we could have scored three or four, our decision-making was not always good, but we are happy to be in the final,” he said.
The Flames legend also said he has shifted his focus to the final against Mamelodi Sundowns.
He also recalled their glory back in 2005 as a skipper when they clinched the SAA Supa 8 title.
“In 2005, I was one of the players in the Supa 8,” said Maduka in his post-match interview.
“Now we have another chance to win the Nedbank Cup. It will not be easy, but we are looking forward to that game.”
On the other hand, Phiri who is Baroka’s vice-captain, attributed the loss to the red card shown to one of his teammates.
In an interview yesterday, the gangly winger said: “The red card was the turning point, it killed us. But it is part of the game.
“The lengthy inactivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic also took a toll on us. I am sure all the teams will be affected.”