Steve Komphela has challenged Nduduzo Sibiya to remain consistent and to produce the same quality as he did at the weekend on a regular basis. Photo:Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Steve Komphela has challenged Nduduzo Sibiya to remain consistent and to produce the same quality as he did at the weekend on a regular basis.

Sibiya came off the bench on Saturday to score the goal that gave Golden Arrows some hope that they could overhaul Mamelodi Sundowns, who had raced into a 2-0 lead in their Telkom Knockout semi-final.

But his goal just could not inject the much-needed spark into Abafana Bes’thende as they failed to score an equaliser.

“We were playing under pressure and we couldn’t penetrate through the middle. Sibiya gave us that energy when he came on,” Komphela said.

Yet such was his impact on the match that there was a murmur of discontent with many asking just why Komphela did not include Sibiya in his starting line-up.

Not that the coach was moved. He has been in the game long enough to understand how fickle the fans can be.

“When we played Sundowns, there’s a combination that came off the bench. Seth (Parusinath) went on to score. He had a hell of a good match. When you take out Seth on the back of that, you get people saying, ‘what match are you watching? There was no need to make a change’.”

Sibiya burst on to the scene three seasons ago but is yet to reach his full potential in top-flight football.

“The challenge to him is, ‘can he play the same way in the next match?’ We want him to be much more consistent. He had a good match and scored the goal. He has got the ability (to play consistently at a high level). We want to see the same Sulumane (Sibiya) in the next game.”

Sundowns won through goals from captain Hlompho Kekana and Gaston Sirino, and Komphela was gracious in defeat.

“Congratulations to Sundowns for making it to the final. It was a game of two of halves. We had a much better second half. We created chances. We have to check and ask why we didn’t play the same way in the first half. They applied good pressure in the midfield. We had to bypass that midfield,” Komphela explained.

The defeat means Komphela’s wait for his maiden top-flight club football trophy continues. It was the second time he has been bundled out in the semi-finals, Arrows having lost to TS Galaxy in the penultimate stage of the Nedbank Cup last season. He’s made three cup finals without success.

@minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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