Thanks to fans’ votes and faith in their abilities, both Kaizer Chiefs' Siphelele Ntshangase and Lorenzo Gordinho got a chance to start the Carling Black Label Cup against Orlando Pirates. Did they show Ernst Middendorp that they should be kept at the club and used regularly?
Under Giovanni Solinas, Ntshangase started 10 of the first 11 PSL matches under the Italian. Once Ernst Middendorp took over, he fell out of favour and only started three of the last 16 league matches and didn’t even make the squad for the Nedbank Cup final.
After returning from his loan spell at Bloemfontein Celtic, Lorenzo Gordinho fell out of favour at Chiefs, starting just two of the 16 games after Middendorp took over and not playing a single minute in their Nedbank Cup run.
How Ntshangase Fared
With Willard Katsande alongside him, Ntshangase was tasked with anchoring the midfield as the fans selected a very attacking line-up. He started the game quite well, showing quick feet when under pressure, defending well from a Pirates short corner and having a shot from range after Bernard Parker set him up. 'Stash' also played a good flick inside to make a shooting opening for Lazarous Kambole.
However, he ended the first half with some misplaced passes including one on a counter attack that went straight out for a throw-in as well as one that was easily intercepted by Justice Chabalala. His corner deliveries also left much to be desired, failing to beat the first man. In the second half, he moved higher up as Bernard Parker dropped deeper, but as soon as Chiefs’ fans voted for Kabelo Mahlasela to come on, Ntshangase was taken off.
How Gordinho Fared
Due to Chiefs’ fans not voting in a left back to start, it fell on Gordinho to play on that side. He initially started on the left of a back three with Parker as a wingback, but he moved to left back in the second half.
He had a tough game when facing direct dribbling. Thembinkosi Lorch cut inside him early on and Vincent Pule easily dribbled past him in the second half. His passing was below par as he struggled on his left foot in an unfamiliar role. There were some strong aerial challenges won though, and an excellent covering tackle after 13 minutes after Pule had dribbled past Parker on the Chiefs left flank.
Did They Stake Their Claim?
Neither player really put up their hand to demand more game-time with their displays. Ntshangase started well and showed his technical talent, but faded towards the end of the first half. Gordinho had a tough afternoon in a very unfamiliar role and he at least has that as an excuse for not looking completely comfortable. Both players arguably missed a chance to force their way into Middendorp’s thinking for the opening PSL game against Highlands Park next weekend.
How do you think Ntshangase and Gordinho played for Chiefs? Would you start them next week against Highlands Park? Let us know by commenting below!