August 2, 2021

Richards Bay coach Dladla on Kaizer Chiefs win: The plan worked

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The National First Division side’s coach was more than satisfied with their performance against Amakhosi in the cup competition

Richards Bay coach Simo Dladla was pleased that his men played according to instructions as they overcome being star-struck and went on to shock Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in a Nedbank Cup last 32 encounter at the FNB Stadium on Sunday.

The Natal Rich Boys, the joint log leaders in the first division, scored first through Thabani Dube in the 29th minute. The Glamour Boys levelled in the 76th minute through Leonardo Castro before Siyabonga Vilane snatched a 91st minute winner for the visitors.

For Dladla the idea had been for his side to play their normal game, and also to ensure they put the Amakhosi players under pressure and didn’t give them time to settle. He was also confident that his defenders would be able to handle the aerial threat from Chiefs’ big strikers.

“It was a tough game, but we stuck to the plan, we had a plan coming here. Lucky for us we came here in a good run of form in the previous games,” Dladala told SuperSport TV.

“So we said, nothing changes, when we have the ball we need to play our normal passing game. When we don’t have the ball, then we must get behind the ball, which we did really well.

“I told them not many people can think, especially when you are compact. And that proved to work for us, we forced them into thinking hard and then they were forced to go wide.

“Because I’ve got two tall centre-halves there, they could compete with [Samir] Nurkovic and them, the plan worked.”

Dladla admitted that his men were at times awestruck by their illustrious opponents, which is why at one point Amakhosi looked like they could snatch victory themselves – after Castro’s goal, Chiefs missed several other good chances to score.

“Chiefs are a big team and for some of these guys the Chiefs players are their idols, and so they were idolizing them at times,” the Richards Bay coach said.

“Because we had moments where we could really get behind them, but we didn’t, and I think that really got [Chiefs] back into it. With the structure, I thought we were ahead of them.”