After his team’s shocking performance in the Soweto Derby, Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela conceded that Orlando Pirates had a better plan coming into the game. The Buccaneers stunned their bitter rivals, and dare we say the whole country with a 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon at the FNB Stadium. Chiefs were chasing the game from minute one, and Komphela was the first to admit that they were just not up to the task: ‘They had the right energy for such counter-attacking football. And when it came to us, when we had the opportunity to hit, we tended to be more okay with going a bit slow. We need to be quicker.’
This was the first time Pirates beat Chiefs in the league in over three years, and it could not have come at a least expected time with their domestic campaign having been in tatters this season. This made Komphela a favourite to win coming into this one, but he soon discovered that the form book goes out the window in a derby match.
The 48-year-old says: ‘Mentally, obviously we have suffered and it took a lot. More especially because this is a derby. There’s pride involved.’ This loss also happens to be their first of the season in the league, leaving them with only three wins and a massive five draws from nine games. Komphela adds: ‘It’s a first one. Worse when you lose against Orlando Pirates you know what that means. We did not exert ourselves. I strongly believe we were more on an idle mode. As much as it’s a first one, a loss is a loss. Worse it’s against Orlando Pirates.’
Komphela will not have much time to get his house in order with another tricky game against Serame Letsoaka’s Golden Arrows coming up in mid-week before meeting his arch nemesis again in seven days’ time in cup football. Ironically, Arrows put Pirates to bed with a 2-0 victory this past week, and next on their hit-list is Chiefs. If Amakhosi are to turn their fortunes around, they will do well to forget as quickly as possible about their poor showing this weekend and get back their confidence.
Or as their coach puts it, their arrogance: ‘I still believe we need to be arrogant enough. Be arrogant and impose your way of doing things. If Pirates put somebody on you, you’ve got to overcome that and play.’ In almost a third of his first season at Chiefs, Komphela can safely say he’s seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. It remains to be seen whether he’ll weather the storm and avoid the ensuing cloud of pressure at the helm of the Glamour Boys.