Coach Manqoba Reflects On Tshwane Derby Victory

Mamelodi Sundowns’ unbeaten run in the DStv Premiership goes on after a hard fought 1-0 victory in the Tshwane derby.

The Brazilians continued their fine run of form in the DStv Premiership as they reached the halfway mark in the campaign without suffering a defeat, after securing maximum points in their thrilling encounter against SuperSport United on Saturday evening, extending not only their gap at the top of the league table to 14 points. Masandawana Co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi shared his views of the encounter in Atteridgeville.

“It’s a game that started very well, but surprisingly in the first three minutes they got a shot at goal from Onismor Bhasera which was a snapshot in front of our defense, but from there we recollected ourselves, we came back stronger and managed to get a goal. After that we tried to pile on the intensity a little bit. We were unfortunate to lose Thabiso Kutumela as he was very influential in our high press.”

“From there we started to give a little bit more space and time to Jamie Webber who has got a very good diagonal ball, and Kegan Johannes who played as a right center back was very instrumental in finding the left back – which made our lives a little bit difficult, because if Webber finds the right back easily and Johannes finds the left back easily, it now becomes a game where you have to try deal with them in wide channels.”

The encounter between the two Pretoria giants was a thrilling encounter, with Matsatsantsa matching up to the pressing battle in attack and coming close to the face of goal throughout the match and unsettling Bafana Ba Style. In their previous meeting, United came from the back to close the gap after Masandawana took the lead by 2 goals and with a narrow lead of 1 goal in the second round, Downs made changes early on the second half to protect their lead.

“[Thamsanqa] Gabuza is always a factor with any balls that are put into the box, and in the later stages of the game they brought on Luke Fleurs then we knew that it was not going to be easy for us and that’s why we brought in Mothobi [Mvala] to come and assist us a little bit, which I think he brought a lot of stability on our midfield. We pushed [Sphelele] Mkhulise a little bit to go press with Peter [Shalulile] because after losing Kutumela we lost a bit of intensity in our high press and in our counter presses.” Explained Coach Manqoba.

The rare combinations of Themba Zwane and forward, Gaston Sirino – who replaced Kutumela after suffering an injury – was a sensational sight in attack for Sundowns as they looked more and more promising to adding another goal. Sirino’s champagne passes combined well with Mshishi and Shalulile upfront, but denied by the well positioned goalkeeper of Matsatsantsa, Boalefa Pule. Coach Manqoba reflected on the missed opportunities to extend their lead.

“The loss of Kutumela was a big one for us because he was not only important in our offensive play, but in our defensive strategy to try and make sure that their center backs are not given much space and time to be able to deliver and also with a negative press on Webber who was also very influential from a deep line position, that loss was big. But it was also good to see what we can get from Gaston, Mshishi and Neo [Maema] at the same time on the pitch. Defensively we were a little bit open, but offensively we created some very good moments and nice passing moments which should’ve resulted in goals [especially] for Mshishi and Peter, very unfortunate to not have scored in those moments.”

Mamelodi Sundowns will host Limpopo-based Baroka FC in their next encounter in the DStv Premiership.

2 Responses
  1. Jero

    Thanks for 3 points, but it seems like we are slowly loosing our dominants on dictating games. We do too much video analysis. Than training players for fitness and sharpness. Please Coaches we are not called a bafana ba Style for nothing we love wining in Style. So far this season our play is so boring this keep position knocking a ball at the back and Sides ways is starting to kill our intertaining style of play.

  2. muzi kunene

    I don’t understand why our coaches are always complaining about the performance of the team on their post match interview whereas they should tell the players during the game to stop slow build ups and too many back passes to me its seems the players are told by you to always do that because you just watch and keep quite.
    We don’t capitalize by counter attacking opponents we wait for them to be regroup by unnecessary slow build up and my worry we’ll take this tendency to Champs league and we will be punished,we can’t be comfortable on one nil score we need to score as many goals as possible and S.United nearly scored on dying minutes.

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