Chiefs well-prepared for Ajax


Amakhosi take on the Urban Warriors in the MTN8 final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth (3pm) as defending champions, having won the competition under Stuart Baxter last season.

And listening to Komphela look ahead to the match, you would have sworn Chiefs’ new coach had an insider at Ajax.

Speaking of what he expects from his adversaries, the man who is going into only his second club football cup final gave the impression of someone who has the opposition all figured out.

It was pretty impressive really as Komphela not only rattled off the names of the Ajax players but discussed the way he anticipates Roger de Sa might approach the match.

“At the back they have a clear centre-back pairing – (Abbubaker) Mobara and Rivaldo Coetzee. And (Mosa) Lebusa helps them out there. On the right they have (Aidan) Jenniker, (Anssi) Jakkolla is also there as a goalkeeper. All in all when you look at that team, you see that it is not by accident that they are on top (of the league table).

“Ajax are a youthful side, they have a high level of technical ability and from a tactical point of view, they have a smart coach.”

With a opposition he rates so highly standing on his way to lifting his maiden trophy at club level, Komphela is sure to have a master-plan to ensure Amakhosi faithful are a happy lot come 5pm.

That Chiefs reached the final had a lot to do with the former Bafana coach’s ability to not only inspire his team but to put in place a new game plan when his initial one fails to work.

Amakhosi’s progress from the first round was particularly a good case in point – Chiefs beating Maritzburg United 5-3 after looking dead and buried when they trailed 2-0 at half-time.

That Komphela magic was again evident just last weekend when he masterminded a comeback against a SuperSport United team that had them in all sorts of trouble in the initial stanza to lead 1-0 and should actually have scored more.

Ever the planner, Komphela clearly has an idea what Ajax will bring along to the match.

“It’s a cup final. You don’t know what he (De Sa) says to his players. Does he say ‘listen I don’t care how you play – what I want to see happen is us lifting the trophy’. You’ve got to deal with that. Or he says ‘listen, go out there enjoy the moment it comes but once’. You don’t know that.”

Yet the fact that he has an idea of what De Sa might instruct his players to do speaks volumes of a coach who is meticulous in his planning.

And tomorrow’s final is likely to highlight the fact that Komphela is one of the foremost tactical geniuses in the country. - The Star

Original source: Chiefs well-prepared for Ajax