Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has hailed the impact of Willard Katsande, Benard Parker and Ramahlwe Mphahlele for the second-half comeback showing against Polokwane City.
Amakhosi went 2-0 down in the first half, but three goals in eight minutes late in the second half, completed a wonderful turnaround on Saturday.
But in the first half, the Glamour Boys were all at sea, unable to cope with City’s long balls over the top of their defence.
In fact, Chiefs could have been more than 2-0 down by the time they went in to the interval.
“We weren’t a very happy team at half-time. Credit to Polokwane City. They caught us sleeping three or four times,” Middendorp told SuperSport TV.
“The changes helped us in the second half with the bringing in of experienced players like Katsande, Rama, Bernard Parker. In the second half, we had a calmness, coolness, we built up in a totally different way.
“Being 2-0 down and scoring three goals in eight minutes shows the ambition, shows the character that each player had. It was not good in the second half.
“There was no pressure on the ball. The long balls were coming over our defensive line and we didn’t react.
“We were much better in the second half. We were ambitious, focused, committed. We wanted to win this game and we have done it.
“I’m not concerned with other sides’ results, who wins, who loses. I can only focus on Kaizer Chiefs, to work with the team, to prepare the team.
“History is past. Yesterday is past. The current moment is a gift. It’s fantastic. The future we all know is a secret. Nobody knows. We want to win this championship. We said it in August last year and we are working hard for it as we have seen today.”
Zambian Lazarous Kambole partnered Samir Nurkovic up front following a return to the line-up, with countryman Anthony Akumu replacing Katsande in the middle of the park.
Katsande would make his presence felt in the last 20 minutes after turning home Nurkovic’s cutback from the far post following an in-swinging corner.
Amakhosi were level when another corner and another flick-on by Nurkovic in the 75th minute played in Akumu, who tucked home from close-range.
Nurkovic then took matters into his own hands a minute later after receiving a pass from Daniel Cardoso near the area to pick out the bottom corner from range to complete the comeback and move Chiefs six points clear of champions Mamelodi Sundowns. — KickOff