Tuesday, 16 August
Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane had words of encouragement for defender Siyabonga Ngezana, who was directly culpable for the first two goals AmaKhosi conceded in their 4-0 loss against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
Ngezana’s soft back pass was intercepted by Gaston Sirino to open the scoring for Sundowns, from where Ngezana then fouled Peter Shalulile for the penalty that led to Sundowns’ second goal.
That meant Sundowns led 2-0 inside 17 minutes without having to do much in terms of creating goal scoring opportunities.
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Ngezana was shell-shocked and was taken off at half-time by Zwane, but the damage had been done by then.
Zwane admitted that Ngezana, who scored in a 2-1 win against Sundowns at the same ground in 2017 when Chiefs were still coached by Steve Komphela, carried a slight knee niggle that affected his confidence.
“If you look at how it happened, those mistakes took place early in the game and from there, he couldn’t recover,” Zwane said.
“It was unlike him and he is one player that from a defensive perspective, he’s one of our best one-versus-one player in those situations.
“When you look at the fourth goal when Sundowns went down the line, Siya is very good in those situations.
“He just wasn’t himself in this game and I also think it was a knee issue. He said wasn’t 100 percent, but he was going to give his best.
“He wasn’t himself, he wasn’t at his best and the error he committed killed his confidence. These things happen in football.
“Many other players will commit those mistakes and we’ll move on. He mustn’t worry about that mistake.”
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Zwane though was still bemused by his team’s flatness for such a big game. Despite their recent travails under their different coaches, Chiefs have been one side who have given Sundowns a fight if they’re compared to Soweto rival Orlando Pirates.
“I’m still asking myself as to why we didn’t come to the party. We were flat and even if we’d scored those two goals, we were still going to lose the game,” Zwane said.
“Sundowns were just on top of us in terms of their well-known quality, but with us, we’re still a work in progress and we’ll get there.
“It’ll take some time, but we’ll definitely be competitive at some point.”