Coach Manqoba Mngqithi Reflects on MTN8 defeat in Polokwane

Mamelodi Sundowns are knocked out of the MTN8 Competition after picking up a 3-0 defeat in Polokwane against Orlando Pirates in the semi-finals second leg clash on Saturday afternoon. Masandawana fell away in the early stages of the encounter when the Buccaneers took an early lead through a questionable goal, Monnapule Saleng of Pirates put the ball back into play after it had crossed the line to connect with his teammate Kermit Erasmus who headed home in the eighth minute of first half. According to The Brazilians Co-Coach Manqoba Mngqithi, it was expected of Pirates to come out victorious considering the manner in which the game unfolded.

“I think we played the way we wanted to play, very unfortunate to concede the goal that we conceded very early in the match which I believe very strongly that it was outside of the goal line when Saleng put that ball in. Once Pirates score that early in the match then the game favors Pirates because they are a team that thrives in transitions and counter attacks, but we must also take a bit of the blame. I think we lost too many balls very cheap knowing the strength of the opposition in transition, you can not afford to risk possession like that because once they decide to go in a low block [then] a little bit more patience is wanted and a little bit more width to try and open them up slowly but patiently without rushing to force passes into areas or to clip balls to the opponents because on transition they always proved to be dangerous.”

“I must say, ever since Saleng started playing, their transitions are a little bit more clinical than before. If you look at this game today, I think they only had 3 or 4 shots on goal and all 3 are on target. In this match we had far too many shots at goals but unfortunately we did not get anything out of it and I think we were not clinical enough in the final third. But more than anything else I think the goal that they scored very early in the match made life very difficult for us because we always know that playing against Pirates then you must worry alot about your rest defense and worry alot about breaking that low block down and I think that’s where the game was lost.”

The defeat from the Soweto rivals leaves The Brazilians out of the race for another treble season in the Premier Soccer League, with the Tshwane giants left to defend the Nedbank Cup and the DStv Premiership title. Bafana Ba Style also suffered another injury blow to their growing list of players who are currently out of action, amongst the key players is Namibian international striker Peter Shalulile who has missed out of the CAF Champions League preliminary second round stages as well as the MTN8 second leg encounter. Downs Coach acknowledged the absence of their tallysman and the impact it has on the squad, he said:

“We would be lying when we are saying we are not missing Peter [and] that is why we tried the best we can not to expose it to everyone that he’s out, because we know everybody knows how dependent we are in his ability to finish our chances and also to cause a lot of threats. [Shalulile] gives us a chance from the first line of defense with his high press and speed, that to a certain extent had an effect on the whole team.”

“We were consoling ourselves with the number of goals that we scored prior to this match in three matches, but we knew for a fact that at some point if we don’t take our chances we might be exposed that we don’t have a player of Peter Shalulile’s caliber.” Concluded Coach Manqoba.

Mamelodi Sundowns return to action on Tuesday, 25 October in the DStv Premiership at Harry Gwala Stadium against Maritzburg United. Kick off is at 19H30.

5 Responses
  1. jimmy

    Peter Shalulile has not featured for Sundowns in 4 games and we all know Peter is not injured – Pitso has started a new job in a money filled middle east ,something fishy is happening at Sundowns . Erasmus has posted something suspicious on twitter as well. just my poor thinking.

  2. DOWNS4EVER

    We had Morena,Mailula,and Motupa who could have done that high pressing.A wise coach can’t depend on one player knowing very well that is impossible for a player to play all the game in a season,besides Peter was off form even when he was playing.Wise coaches have plan,A,B,C,D,E,not only Shalulile plan.You complain about about losing balls cheaply yet you played Mvala who can’t even trap the ball,you can watch that game and see what i’m talking about,he lost more balls than all the players who played that game.You knew all the threats of Pirates but you failed to mitigate that.Team cannot win all the games but team must always show hunger,willingness to win and fight for the badge of the club.Our team play like a school pupil who sings the lyrics of the song correctly but don’t the meaning.If we keep these coaches we are going to lose our good players and youngsters to our opponents.You can see by the body language that players are not enjoying what they are doing it is just that they are scared to talk because of fear of victimization like Morena,Lakay,and Erusmas. Just know that the moment you leave us or we make you leave is the end of your career,remember all you journey before you come to us.At least you will boost the team of analyst to the broadcasting TV channels coz that is the only thing you are good at.

  3. Muzi Kunene

    Our coach (Manqoba) is good on postmatch interviews with his big English but during the match he just sit on the bench almost the whole game he only comes when he argues with the referee.
    He once said on radio if they asked why he did that his answer was “I’m like that and that’s where I observe the game thoroughly or attentively “I never saw a coach whom just sat almost the whole game even you watch other leagues I think he’s the first and the last,so how can we can make a coach of that calibre to be only a headcoach it will be a disaster.
    Tomorrow we’ll play against Maritzburg they will underestimate them also and field the middlefielders to striking position and expect us to clap hands after the game,look at AmaZulu with a small boy you can see that team is doing the basics of football not to entertain which is our downfall nowadays qnd and opponents have known now that most of the time we attack with fullbacks and leave the space behind and slow build ups and ky question is why don’t we change the system because its obvious its no longer working even on Champs League they know how to close us but we don’t have plan B.Our Management must give this coaches an ultimatum to win the Champs League and Dstv league if they want to keep their jobs to Downs next season because they’re relaxing now.

    1. Philani

      MUZI NO offense my brother but I have never ever doubt MANQOBA capability. Point of correction if you are a SUNDOWNS FAN you may recall that TED DMITRY was not like to be on the spot light. But what a coach he was. Cool calm and more intelligent. I don’t like coaches who become animated even when there’s no need for that. MANQOBA IS A A WELL RAISED PERSON WHO’S GOT MANNERS but UPITSO Washoe ukuthi Kunama rotten potatoes from the management

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