Cape Town - Maritzburg United coach Roger de Sa has bemoaned a poor first-half display that resulted in a 3-1 loss to Golden Arrows in the Nedbank Cup last-32 on Sunday.
The Team of Choice conceded three times before half-time at Princess Magogo Stadium, where goals from Sbusiso Sibeko, Lerato Lamola and Kudakwashe Mahachi ultimately booked Arrows' place in the last-16 of the competition.
Lebogang Maboe pulled one back for the visitors midway through the second half, but there was no way back as they slumped to a second derby defeat to their KZN rivals in back-to-back matches.
De Sa admitted the damage had been done by slack defending from his team in the opening 45 minutes, saying: "It seems to be that way: too many times we were sleeping and boom, boom, goal, goal, and we carry on controlling the game and everything else and that is not good enough.
"I think we tried but the damage was done in those minutes in the first-half, which is very disappointing.
"They were a lot sharper than us in the first-half. We were slow, losing the ball in situations that we don't need to lose the ball and a couple of performances were below par."
It was a fourth defeat in six matches for De Sa since being handed the reins at the Harry Gwala Stadium, and the 52-year-old felt the 1-0 reverse they suffered at the hands of Abafana Bes'thende last time out in the league was still weighing on his players' minds.
"No two games are ever the same and no two performances are ever the same, that is what we were trying to tell the players that you have got to forget about the (league defeat)," he added.
"This time around you've got to produce an equally good performance, if not better, and we didn't do that.
"I thought the first 30 minutes, some of the players didn't come out of the tunnel and they were sort of there and that was disappointing. It is something I hope they will learn from and do better next time."