Ncikazi: Two different performances from the same team

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  • Post published:October 4, 2021

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi insists his side dominated the first half but could not adapt to Cape Town City’s change in formation in the second half.

The Buccaneers played out to their third draw in the DStv Premiership after they were held 1-1 by City at Cape Town Stadium this past weekend when Mduduzi Mdantsane’s second-half penalty cancelled out Happy Jele’s first-half opener.

After the stalemate, Pirates dropped down to sixth place in the league standings on nine points, while the Citizens occupy 10th position with six points after six matches.

“Two different performances from the same team, the first half we dominated. I thought we played the way we planned play,” Ncikazi told SuperSport TV post-match.

“Credit to the opponent, I think they changed after the forced substitution of [Nathan] Fasika, I think they changed their formation.

“When we went to half time, we expected two things: a change of personnel and a change of formation. I don’t think we adapted well to the way they changed second half.

“We kept on dropping the line of confrontation backwards, which is not what we planned. I just wish the team that played first half continued to play second half, but it didn’t happen in our team. Disappointed with the result.

“I just wish first half we scored when we had the dominance, I wish we had scored maybe we would have a different response right now.

“We wanted to press as high as possible, I thought we are one team, according to the stats, that has got a high percentage of successful press when we hire a press, that’s an indication we wanted to continue there.

“But I thought one mistake that we did, we never stayed on the line of confrontation that we planned, maybe because of a change of formation of the opponent. But I thought we never exerted ourselves fully in the positions that we wanted to press and then you get problems that surfaced after that, that was the outcome.”

Ncikazi was pleased that his side kept the threat of Terrence Mashego at bay after the wing back proved to be one of the Citizens’ standout performers this season.

“From the previous match that they played against Swallows you could see the effectiveness of Mashego, they are playing a three-man defence, we wanted to cater for that,” he added.

“Mashego’s got very less responsibility defensively, so we wanted the space behind him. I thought we kept him quiet a bit first half but second half not the same team, just my disappointment is on that. I wish we continued with the same team that played first half. But it’s work in progress, let’s use the first half as a measure of our team going forward.

“Pirates must win all matches, that’s the expectation. I’m just disappointed we did not do what we planned, we’re far off the objectives that we made for ourselves but it’s a lesson, it’s not a loss.

“Let’s learn quickly, though, let’s not be slow learners and try change the result. This team deserves more than what we’re giving,” he added.