Coach Manqoba Reflects on Quarter-Final Win

Mamelodi Sundowns’ Premier Soccer League campaign started in emphatic fashion on Sunday afternoon against Kaizer Chiefs with a thrilling 2-1 penalty shootout victory.

Masandawana were heroes of their own game when they brushed aside Amakhosi in Pretoria during the highly anticipated MTN 8 Cup competition. As the two giants locked horns with each other, it was the defending champions that were dictating terms on their home ground, with a fantastic goal opener to silence the visitors.

Downs coach, Manqoba Mngqithi reflected back on the encounter during the post-match press conference:

“It was a game that we could have finished in the first half, we created a lot of opportunities. We made the game look easy, which I think had an effect on us losing focus more especially in the dying stages of the first half [and] we started to have less touches on the ball. We lost possession, immediately that resulted in a diagonal which [Benard] Parker caught us out with, initially the two strikers ran in as if they were going into offside position and then the contest became live again.” Coach Manqoba Mngqithi narrated.

Coach Manqoba continued: “Even then, afterwards we continued to create a lot of very good opportunities. Themba [Zwane] had a very good influence in those, Peter [Shalulile] could have scored more, Pavol [Safranko] could have scored and [Neo] Maema could have scored. There are many opportunities that looked like we could get something.”

The Brazilian’s coach was not surprised by the goal that the opposition scored minutes before the break, as they could have gone into the half time without conceding any goals and possession in their favour.

“We knew their strength on set pieces, their potent nature on transition from defence to attack, everything that came out in the match is exactly what we anticipated. We knew that Chiefs were going to catch us on transition, we knew that they would be compact central, that’s why we wanted to overload one side and isolate on the other side, but sometimes we were not very quick to find the openings to go to Lyle [Lakay] or to [Khuliso] Mudau.” Coach Manqoba explained.

Coach Manqoba continued to applaud his soldiers on their relentless dominance “I believe they did well in many instances. They dominated the match, they dominated the field and created a lot of opportunities and took control of the game which is what we always demand, but the mistakes that we made on the day are not easily forgivable considering that for Sundowns to concede two goals in one match, it’s too big.”

Bafana Ba Style are known for having plenty of talented players that carry the team from glory to glory, it was no surprise that many of their players delivered an outstanding performance.

“I believe Mudau had a very good game on the day, very impressive for him to play the way he played because it gives us confidence on the depth we have in that space, one must congratulate the boys, I think they gave it a very good fight.” said Coach Manqoba on the performance of Khuliso Mudau who had many supporters singing him praise. 

“On Haashim, I think he had a very good pre-season, same as Mudau, in all the matches that we played in the pre-season they played exceptionally well, it was very difficult. [Sphelele] Mkhulise had moments where he got injured and he was out. That gave Haashim a little bit more of a run during pre-season, if he continues the way he has continued, there’s no chance that we can drop him, we believe he’s got a lot to give, there’s still far more that we can get from him.”

As ever, anticipation and expectation were at fever pitch at the start of the new campaign, Mzansi’s former Footballer of the season, Themba Zwane was looking to carry on where he left off last season. Zwane scored a brilliant goal that gave Masandawana competitive advantage before the half time break as the score line changed to 2-0 at Lucas Moripe Stadium in favour of Downs.

“I wish most footballers can take their football career as seriously as Mshishi does, very few talented players that I know work as hard as Themba Zwane. Very few talented players that I know are as focused as him and have got passion for the game more than anything else. His life is football, he is always thinking about training and playing matches.” said Coach Manqoba.

“Talented players are usually very lazy, but Themba is one of the hardest working players. I always pray for players like that because very few players with that talent will work as hard as he does.”

Downs’ record in the prestigious Cup tournament has never been as convincing as it seems now, last season’s exit in the opening round of the tournament had many supporters disowning the cup competition as a favorite.

With the recent performance from The Brazilians, Coach Manqoba noted the chance that the victory has provided going into the next round: “It’s an opportunity because we are now in the semi-finals, if we can fight to go through [and get past] the semi-finals. We can’t play the final before we win the first match of the semi-final and win the second match of the semi-final to go through, [therefore] for us at this stage, it’s one step closer but impressive to note that we went through from the quarterfinals to the semi-finals, because this has been a hurdle for us, this first match has always been a bigger problem.”

7 Responses
  1. Luvuyo Pomolo

    Well done guys but Hashim is not comfortable on the ball, he falls now and again his final pass and his second ball

  2. Dalom

    I fully concur with you on Themba Zwane, he’s one of a special kind. On his day, he can single-handedly destroy teams. He easily beat Chiefs’ central defence with just one touch and scored such a great goal. We just have to protect him and not overload him. I know such players want to play every game, even when it’s clear that they’re tired. Victor Gomes tried by all means to rob us, but it just wasn’t to be. Everyone is talking about Kennedy moving off his line during the penalty shootouts and not about our denied clear penalty during normal time and our denied goal during the shootouts. Even DSTV crew were only interested in showing Kennedy’s movements and not Khune’s

  3. jimmy

    I dont know how our coaches are doing it but they are damn sure doing a very good job .Sundowns is playing enterprising football .DSTV teams are in for a very tough season and a lot of stick this season .Thank you Coaches ,players and everyone involved .You are making our fooballing lives a better space .

  4. Mike Meluleki

    It is evident that everyone at Sundowns is working so hard to raise our flag.A big thank you to the management,players and all supporters for doing a wonderful job.l foresee a bright future for our beloved team.Mvala,Domingo and Mudau showed great signs of improvement,thank u guys.Neo seems to have fitted well in our system. Keep up the wonderful job gentlemen,behind u all the way.

    1. muzi kunene

      Good Morning Dawanas,I do have a opinion to our Management and Wisemen, I heard that they want to buy three of Supersport United players before window shuts by the name of Williams, Mbule and Mokoena to me its a lot of money and we’ve got too many middle fielders and goalkeepers in our team and all those players will end up sitting on grandstand instead of playing.
      The money you plan to buy those three why don’t you use in bringing back Percy Tau and give him the salary you’ll paying those three players and its a business sense to me instead of those three.
      Hope our comments are read by the management or coaches.Kby forever

  5. Bongani

    Well done 👏guys let’s look to our next league game and GOD bless you all, we all be hind you all the time…..

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