While Lebogang Manyama claimed a hat-trick, it was arguably Nkosingiphile Ngcobo who was the game-changer as he provided two assists in six minutes
Nkosingiphile Ngcobo proved to be the catalyst for victory when Kaizer Chiefs ran out 3-2 winners in a league game against Golden Arrows at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Ngcobo was introduced into the action in the 59th minute, replacing Kearyn Baccus. At that point, Amakhosi were 2-1 down. But after two assists from Ngcobo in the 72nd and 79th minutes, Chiefs had completed a remarkable win.
The match was a first in charge for Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard, who stepped up into the hot-seat after Gavin Hunt was dismissed last week.
According to Zwane, the plan had always been to allow Arrows to have a lot of the ball, and then to hit them with pace and purpose in the latter stages of the match.
“Playing against a team in the top three bracket, they came into game oozing confidence and knowing very well that since we are not doing well as a team, [Arrows felt they] had a good chance of collecting maximum points,” Zwane told SuperSport TV after the 90 minutes in Soweto.
“So planning this game, we said let’s allow them to come at us a little bit. Let’s give them the confidence to build at the back.
“Because we can’t allow them to exploit the space behind us, they can easily punish us,” Zwane elaborated.
“They’ve got players with speed who are very comfortable on the ball. And with tactical flexibility as well in the final third entry, we had to try and manage that first.”
The Chiefs technician says it had always been the plan to allow Abafana bes’Thende to play in midfield.
“We allowed them at some point to dictate terms in the middle of the park. And we had to bring in Mshini (Ngcobo) to give us that balance and someone who was very good going forward,” he said.
“We needed someone who could just keep the ball for us and get the runners at the right time.
“That was our plan, to start Mshini on the bench. We knew that Baccus would give us 60 minutes. And knowing that when you bring in Mshini, and bringing in Happy [Mashiane] as well, we would have more players with speed, who can apply pressure. And at that time their (Arrows’) energy levels would have dropped.”