JOHANNESBURG - Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela didn’t think his decision to substitute Lorenzo Gordinho with another defender in Daniel Cardoso, shortly after Amakhosi were reduced to 10-man when Mulomowandau Mathoho was sent off seven minutes into Wednesday night’s defeat to SuperSport United, was strange at all.
Chiefs fans were visibly annoyed with the coach over the change – the tactical switch and numerical disadvantage forcing midfield hardman Willard Katsande to drop into central defence.
SuperSport won the game 2-1 having taken the lead through Aubrey Modiba, with Bradley Grobler adding to it on the stroke of halftime. Gustavo Paez pulled one back for the Glamour Boys in the 66th minute.
“Coaches make crazy decisions,” Komphela said after the game. “You only have to be sitting on the bench to live it and understand. It (the substitution) looked crazy at the beginning. What happens on the bench is something very special.
"You ask yourself questions immediately, because we had to take time and think what to do. Do you take out an offensive player and put a centreback, release Katsande into the midfield or leave him there to deal with things and see what he can do? We left it for a while, and it was clear that a change has to be made. There is no way we would have compromised a Pule (Ekstein), who I thought did well, or a Shabba (Siphiwe Tshabalala), who I thought did well or a (Bernard) Parker.
"The decision was right. The centre got quiet and solid. Katsande assisted us a lot and that is why we played a much better game in the second half even though we were one man down. The easiest question to ask is why. But as coaches we take decision as we see things.”
Komphela was subjected to verbal abuse from Chiefs supporters as Amakhosi are yet to win a game since the start of the 2017/18 campaign – losing to SuperSport in the MTN8 quarterfinals two weeks ago, being held to a 1-1 draw by Bloemfontein Celtic in their Absa Premiership opener on Sunday and then suffering another setback at home against the same SuperSport side.
Komphela has also not being able to win a trophy since he was appointed Chiefs coach in June 2015.