Coach Manqoba Reacts To Draw With KAA Gent In Pre Season Opener

Mamelodi Sundowns kicked off their first international match in Europe against Gent Belgium Premier League team with a 2-2 draw. The Brazilians put on a scintillating display of football that ended in an exciting draw, Coach Manqoba Mngqithi expressed the magnitude of the encounter in an interview after the battle, he said:

“Today we were playing against KAA Gent Belgium, our first match in our preparation phase in the second cycle for preparation in Belgium. It was very important for us to come into an environment where we will not be played with any respect. People will come at us and we will have a go at them because that is what we encounter in the Champions League in the latter stages of the competition, teams do not have much respect for us. It was important from a technical perspective and probably from an intensity perspective to get matches that will demand us both offensively and defensively.” 

Masandawana showed their intent from the beginning and took the lead with two impressive goals from Rivaldo Coetzee and new signing Lucas Ribeiro Costa. The Belgians showed their resilience and fighting spirit and found their way back into the game through Gift Orban who scored a brace. Coach Mngqithi remained optimistic about the team’s progress and believed that the friendly match against a formidable opponent like Gent provided invaluable insights into areas that needed improvement before the start of the league season.

“I think Gent being the team that plays in that space of confederations Cup or what you will call conference League or Europa League, sometimes it is important to to get a friendly like that and again to make it an ice breaker in a trip like this so that you can really test yourself. I think the boys really did well under the circumstances, it was 2-2, but if you look at the quality of the goals that we scored, both of them were of the highest level. Rivaldo’s cracker and Lucas on his debut in a friendly match scoring such a beautiful goal.”

“The goals that we conceded I’m a little bit unhappy with because again they are just our elementary mistakes and it’s an area that we must really work very hard to improve because we end up drawing matches that we should have won. When you have scored two goals away from home there’s no expectation that you should not win that match. There are however a lot of other decisions that I’m not too sure about. We still have to check the video, there was a goal by Peter [Shalulile] and I thought it was a very good goal but it was judged offside.”

The Brazilians Coach further went into details to describe his opponents: “They are a very competitive team and we did analyze them, we always do our work before we come and play. We saw that they are playing with three center-backs, two wing backs that are very aggressive, two strikers with a 10 and the Nigerian boy [Gift Orban] who scored two goals. He is wanted by so many teams in Europe because of his quality, we knew what to expect and the Moroccan striker was also a hard nut for us.”

“But truth be told, we deserve to have won this match. I think the boys played very well. We controlled the game, we were the ones dominating possession, dominating the number of chances created, dominating the number of box entries and that for us was very positive. The unfortunate thing that is really a big assignment for us is to start closing the door at the back because we’ve had these situations even last season and that is unlike Sundowns. We are normally very clinical in that space and the sad part is that the goals we are conceding are merely our mistakes, it is not like the opposition outplays us and creates scoring opportunities but it’s looking very positive I must say.”

The coach also took the opportunity to analyze in detail the performance of the new members of their squad. “I am very impressed with Lucas, a technically unbelievable player who is going to score a lot of goals for us. He still has to work a lot in his intensity, in his defensive plays, pressing and all that, but offensively he’s adding a lot of value in what we have already. Then you’ve got Junior Mendieta, the hardest running offensive player who is going to complement Peter a lot with his pressing and he is going to complement even our setpieces because really he is also very strong.”

“He came into this game in the second half and gave a very good account of himself, he created some very interesting moments and unfortunate to hit the uprights with a header within 1 meter away from goals, but it was really encouraging to see how he ran and how he really, really pushed himself in this game. The last one is [Thapelo] Maseko who came in the second half as well and showed a lot of spark, very good runs off the ball and unfortunate not to get clear-cut opportunities. There was one chance that I thought he should have cracked it but decided to pass Peter. In this match there were about 4 if not 5 goals, unfortunately out of all of them only two were legitimate.”

3 Responses
  1. Moripi

    Thanks for the update, we really need to work on that closing the shop, we suffered last season. Good luck to the boys in the new season

  2. Muzi Kunene

    Thanks for the update Coach and I saw the highlights on Youtube where Mvala continues to commit unnecessary fouls and he ended up getting a red card and Modiba being our leftback its where we”ll be punished again this season even the second goal it was his mistake and he played the whole game I thought Lunga will came on,pls our coaches Modiba is not a leftback he’s very good in the middle of the park.Kby forever

  3. Mfana

    It’s like our eyes will be fed this mediocrity defending of Modiba,no heading no tackles,again our best 3 left backs defenders will be sacrificed to accommodate Modiba?Woooooow!!!!!!Rulani are these clashes of ideas that u r going to feed us?FAVORITISM AND MORE FAVORITISM