Arthur Zwane reveals details of the ambush Kaizer Chiefs laid for Golden Arrows

Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Arthur Zwane punches the air in celebration.
Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Arthur Zwane punches the air in celebration.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs aimed to tire out Lamontville Golden Arrows and then exploit the spaces that a confident and attacking opposition would leave behind them‚ caretaker-coach Arthur Zwane explained after his team’s 3-2 DStv Premiership win on Wednesday.

The performance at FNB Stadium under caretakers Zwane and Dillon Sheppard was not perfect‚ with Chiefs conceding two soft goals. But Amakhosi were also rewarded for setting their runners free.

This resulted in Willard Katsande’s run to tee up Lebogang Manyama’s first‚ Nkosingiphile Ngcobo’s weaving run from halfway to set up Manyama’s second‚ and Leonardo Castro’s run down the left to find Ngcobo‚ who teed up Manyama’s hat-trick.

After a miserable season that finally saw coach Gavin Hunt fired on Friday‚ a morale-boosting win that brought Chiefs right-back into the top eight equation would have lifted the spirits immeasurably.

“We knew coming into the game we were playing against a team in the top three. They came into the game oozing confidence and knowing they stood a good chance of winning‚” Zwane said‚ asked to break down Chiefs’ tactics afterwards.

“Preparing for them we knew they have got nippy‚ explosive players who are good on one-v-one‚ and their game model is very awkward to stop them when they attack.

“Because they build from the back‚ they want you to try and close them down — they’ve got players with so much quality‚ highly technical. And it was always going to be difficult if you wanted to close them down.

“That was going to tire us — we wouldn’t last 90 minute knowing we’ve been travelling from Tanzania [meeting Simba in the Champions League] to Venda [to play Black Leopards].

“So we said‚ ‘Let’s force them to play long‚ we’ve got big boys at the back‚ and as soon as we regain position then let’s exploit the space as well because they are one team who believe in themselves enough that whenever they attack they add numbers’. So we knew we were going to get those spaces.”

Ngcobo came off the bench as a super-sub to find gaps with his running and passing‚ providing two assists.

“We realised we would need ‘Mshini’ [Ngcobo]‚ Happy [Mashiane] and Njabulo Blom in the second half when Arrows’ energy levels had dropped‚” Zwane said of his substitutions.

“We started with Bernard Parker‚ Katsande and Kearyn Baccus [in midfield] because we wanted to tire them [Arrows] and also give them the hope that maybe they could match us in midfield.

“I think Baccus did his part‚ and after 60 minutes we knew we would produce Mshini who can easily penetrate and pinpoint the runners.

“We managed to execute the plan. And Njabulo‚ also‚ when he came on gave us the stability‚ because we knew Katsande wasn’t going to last the 90 minutes.

“We brought on Happy because we wanted‚ since Arrows were chasing the game‚ to exploit the space behind them because we knew they were going to add numbers [in attack]‚ like I said.

“And ja‚ we caught them maybe twice. But if you look at the game Arrows also had chances to maybe lead by the break 2-1‚ and we were fortunate that Bruce [Bvuma] kept us in the game.

“The second half we always knew that even if Arrows scored [we could come back]. Because if you check their chances‚ they actually came when we gave them the ball.

“We know football is a game of mistakes‚ and today’s game was about building the confidence‚ and make the players believe in themselves more. And they responded very well and we are happy with that.”

Ninth-placed Chiefs (33 points‚ -4 goal difference) can finish eighth‚ and avoid matching their worst position of ninth‚ if they beat current eighth-placed side TS Galaxy (36‚ -4) in their final game at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.