6 December 2010
Kaizer Chiefs outplayed their great rivals Orlando Pirates 3-0 in front of a sellout crowd at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium on Saturday night to win the Telkom Knockout Cup. Sthembiso Ngcobo led the way for the Amakhosi with a brace of goals.
Due to a reworked schedule because of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Chiefs have now claimed the trophy for the second time in the same year. They beat Ajax Cape Town 2-1 in the final of the 2009 competition in Durban in April.
Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic admitted afterwards that he was surprised by the margin of victory, but said his side deserved the win for being more motivated and playing with more aggression than Pirates.
Buccaneers’ coach Ruud Krol felt the first goal his side conceded was a result of a poor understanding of defensive work. It was scored by Ngcobo after a back pass from Robyn Johannes put goalkeeper Moneeb Josephs under pressure. He slipped while trying to clear the ball and it fell to Ngcobo, who fired home from the edge of the box.
‘What is a good defender?’
“What is a good defender?” asked Krol, in an interview with Kickoff. “A good defender knows when to clear the ball, but at the moment we have some defenders who will rather play with the ball and not clear it.”
Interestingly, Krol had left out captain Lucky Lekgwathi after he struggled against Knowledge Musona when Chiefs beat Pirates 3-1 in the PSL in November. It was a decision that he was left to rue.
Defender Happy Jele stood out for a disappointing Pirates team that was thoroughly outperformed from the first whistle to the last. Chiefs had a number of impressive performers. Valery Nahayo and Thomas Sweswe were solid at the back, while Josta Dladla, Siphiwe Tshabalala and two-goal hero Ngcobo shone up front.
Chiefs signaled their goal-scoring intent in the second minute when Ngcobo set up Josta Dladla for an early goal with a cross from the right, but Dladla was wide of the mark with his effort on goal.
Ngcobo put the Amakhosi ahead in the 11th minute when he took advantage of Josephs’ poor attempted clearance.
It took until the 38th minute for Chiefs to make an impression on attack. Happy Jele headed towards goal, but Itumeleng Khune rose to the challenge and pushed the ball behind for a corner.
The Amakhosi came firing back and Dladla headed over the crossbar when he should have found the target from a cross by Ngcobo.
In the second half, Pirates took charge once more and Tshabalala tested Josephs down low. The mood in the Buccaneers’ camp and amongst their fans wasn’t good and it was summed up by Andile Jali who, after being substituted in the 60th minute, walked straight off the pitch and disappeared into the tunnel.
Coach Krol said he had asked Jali to make some changes at halftime and he hadn’t, so, Krol reckoned, he had no option other than to replace Jali.
Not long after that Ngcobo doubled Chiefs’ advantage in the 64th minute when he rose above the Buccaneers’ defenders to head powerfully past Josephs off a cross from Punch Masenamela.
Pirates were clearly second best and there was to be no miraculous comeback, a fact that was underlined by a superb third goal scored by Siphiwe Tshabalala in the 72nd minute. Ngcobo set up the Bafana Bafana star with a flick and Tshabalala hammered the ball with his trusty left foot into the Pirates’ goal.
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