The Brazilians underlined their Nedbank Cup campaign with a comfortable 4-0 over the Natal Rich Boyz in their opening encounter for the year 2022. Both teams came out with intensity and aggression in the opening minutes of the game, but Bafana Ba Style soon established a charge against the GladAfrica outfit and took the lead by one goal before going into the break.
“Our first half was a little bit lethargic, we were losing possession unnecessarily, we were too stretched and at times we would make the silly mistake of running with the ball and get caught in the process. Our rest-defense was never the best, we were nearly caught in many instances and honestly speaking I think we did not display the dominance that you would expect from our team, but nonetheless we managed to score a very good goal.” Said The Brazilians’ Co-Coach Manqoba Mngqithi in a post-match interview.
“I was very impressed with our second half, I thought we gained control of the game and we passed a lot better, we were not rushing and we were also not running a lot with the ball in a field that we are unfamiliar with. Our second half looked very strong, very resolute and we created a lot of very good scoring moments and I was very impressed.”
Masandawana had the better of play and possession after their first goal, courtesy of their latest addition to the team Bradley ‘Surprise’ Ralani who marked his debut in style with a goal. Downs Coach did not shy away from praising the 34-year-old attacker along with Teboho Mokoena who started off from the bench to replace Rivaldo Coetzee in the second half.
“A very sound performance from Surprise, but not a surprising performance because we know what he’s capable of and we know that he’s going to help us a lot. He understands our tactical plans, our playing concept and Cape Town City is playing something very close to what we would want to see.”
“Tebza came in the second half just to refresh the team, and he did very well to destabilize the middle field with good passing moments [and he] created a lot of scoring moments even in the final third. We are happy with their contribution to the team and we believe there is still more to come.”
The Brazilians began the second half on the front foot as they started controlling possession more and putting together counter attacks. Goals from Rushine De Reuck, Pavol Safranko and Peter Shalulile crumbled the hosts chances of a comeback. Safranko, who had come on the field as a substitute in the 60th minute showed discomfort before the game reached its conclusion, and was taken off for treatment.
“If you look at the aggression of the run of Safranko, he felt something somewhere around the hip flexor, we felt maybe let’s not push him too hard. We don’t think it’s something very serious, but anything at this stage of the season is always worrying.”
Downs are currently playing in three high-level competitions, within 24 days the Tshwane giants would have played 7 matches which include a trip to Cairo in the CAF Champions League. Masandawana resume their championship title defense on Monday in the DStv Premiership on home ground and having a look at the club’s upcoming match programme, Coach Manqoba is confident that his troops will rise to the occasion.
“We understand very well that at this stage we are probably minus 1 game out of the 27 games that we would have to play if we are to go through all the finals. In the next 9 days we are expected to play 3 matches and I believe the boys have got the capacity to make sure that it’s achieved.”
“We fully understand the load that is coming, which is why we make the type of substitutions that we make, to try and refresh the team when we’ve already managed to grab the game by its neck.”
Bafana Ba Style are back in action on Monday, 7 February against Chippa United at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.