A very challenging match in many ways, playing away to Chiefs at FNB stadium, we just lost in the semi-final to TS Galaxy and fighting to get into the Top 8 spot. The match was more mental than otherwise.
We had only one day to prepare the team and the opponent was more confident after winning 2:4 away to Chippa in the semifinal. We started well and it was clear the opponent were playing a diamond shaped midfield looking to stretch our central defenders to allow deep runners from midfield.
We had to adapt quickly by allowing our central midfielders to cover the opponent Wingbacks while we dropped our wide attackers inside to add numbers. This helped us a lot even though it appeared unconventional. A very tactical game which we dominated defensively and the opponent has a false sense of possession. We scored first through a beautiful curling shot from Sibiya. We went to half time leading 0:1.
We knew the opponent would want to respond. Indeed start of second half they played three strikers in Moon, Parker, Zuma. We dealt wit that threat as well. We were very well organized tactically especially defending but we needed more belief and arrogance to play with ease. Our lack of mental resilience showed once more when we could not protect our lead. Yet again conceding from a set play.
Our team seems to have serious difficulties in basic defense of set plays. We lost or drew many matches unnecessarily through lack of proper defending on set plays. We are not brave enough to engage in combats and win 1v1. The opponent equalized and in as much as they seemed to be dominant in possession, it was all in wrong areas.
The match ended 1:1 and we were still two points behind Highlands Park with three matches to go before end of the season.
Our next match is on Sunday against Free State Stars who are engaged in a relegation battle.