News from South Africa Mamelodi Sundowns: I Think We Could’ve Done Better – Coach Manqoba Mngqithi

Mamelodi Sundowns visited Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday at FNB Stadium and a physical, back-and-forth match ensued.

With already 19 points above the Phefeni Glamour Boys in the DStv Premiership League table when the day began, The Brazilians were able to score at the latter stage of the mouthwatering encounter to earn a 1-1 draw at full time. Masandawana looked like the stronger side throughout as they went back home with a point, Co-Coach Manqoba Mngqithi declared that the clash was fascinating and daring:

“It has been such a long time since I last saw such an interesting match between Chiefs and Sundowns. [It was] a very very good game of football, both teams [were] willing to take some risks at some times, expose a few moments with some poor rest defense. [In the] first half they set up very good pressing traps in the middle, a very good first half in our opinion, but unfortunately not so many chances created in the process.” 

“In the second half we came back a little bit stronger, I think the double wide of Divine [Lunga] and Aubrey [Modiba] caused them a little bit more problems because now they had to try and overload the balls to the side, more especially on the left and that created a little bit more chances. But we lost the wing play that we had in the first half because in the first half they were opening the wide channels a lot, but in the second half I think they improved in that aspect and gave us very little time and space to exploit those openings”

The two Premier Soccer League giants met for the third time in the 2021/22 season, the first tussle was in August 2021 during the MTN8 quarter finals at Lucas Moripe Stadium. Masandawana reigned supreme after a hard fought victory in the penalty shootout and eventually went on to win the Wafa Wafa Cup. A month later Amakhosi made a trip to Loftus Versfeld in the domestic league competition, after much perseverance from the home team, Bafana Ba Style won the battle by two goals to zero.

“I believe Chiefs played very well, and I did say in prior to this match that the last three to four matches that they’ve played I was very impressed because they played the type of football that I can guarantee can easily bring the supporters back into the stadium, because it’s a gallant performance with a lot of passes, creativity, intrigant play and good counter pressing moments. Chiefs are always very dangerous in transition, but also it’s not nice for a big team like Chiefs to depend on transition and set-pieces only.” Expressed Coach Manqoba.

“My overall assessment I think it was a very good game of football for spectators to watch, maybe a game that was short of goals because we did not score many goals and I also believe the penalty they got was a legitimate in my opinion, but I also think we also deserved either a penalty or a freekick. I would think they deserved a point today, they deserved not to lose to be honest. I think they played very well with a lot of courage from the ball, not too many aimless long balls, I think maybe only from the goal kicks looking to [Leonardo] Castro to establish play from there, but it was a very good match.”

Coach Manqoba applauded Amakhosi’s interim coaches for working their fingers to the bone. “There’s a lot that Arthur and Dylan are preparing which makes this brand to be a very interesting brand, but to be honest I think we could’ve done better, we also got our moment.”

Mamelodi will be back in action against Stellenbosch FC on Saturday, 14 May in the DStv Premiership. 

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