Coach Manqoba Reviews Gallants Win

Mamelodi Sundowns 4-0 victory over Marumo Gallants on Sunday continued The Brazilians strong recent record and means they now have set a new record in the Premier Soccer League for successive away matches without a loss.

Bafana Ba Style are now nine games unbeaten in the DStv Premiership this season, but looking at their unbeaten sequence including the back end of the 2020/21 season, they are now on an unbeaten run of games in the league that dates back to April. Downs’ Coach Manqoba Mngqithi says he is looking forward to the international break to allow the team to recharge.

We think that it is a break that is very necessary for a team like ours, we’ve had far too many matches in a short space of time, the players must refresh a little bit because the marathon that we are going to have  after this FIFA break will be harsh for every team in the league. After this break we are looking to play +/- 11 matches if I am not mistaken and that is not going to be easy for many teams. In a space of close to six weeks when you’re expected to play eleven matches, many teams will crumble there and it might give us the benefit, maybe to acquire as many points just before Christmas.”

Bafana Ba Style recorded their first big win in open play this Sunday at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Gallants knocked the Champions out of the semi finals of the 2020/21 Nedbank Cup in a thrilling penalty shootout that rewarded the club then known as club Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila a 6-5 victory over Downs. Masandawana were determined to make amends in Polokwane, giving their opponents little time on the ball as possession favored Downs and proved the perfect profiling done by the technical team.

“I think the game panned out the way we thought, the line up that we anticipated and the one that  we profiled was the one that started the match. They were a little bit in a deep line block in the first half, which gave us a little bit of a difficulty, but it also made them vulnerable when we scored that goal, then we knew maybe they might start to get desperate and open up a little bit and indeed that’s what happened. In the second half when they came with a high press, initially we struggled with our build up schemes up until we used Mosa Lebusa in a double wide with Divine Lunga and Neo Maema in that space, the opposition then struggled to deal with the overload on that side which opened them up a little bit and that is why on the left we opened bigger holes and that’s where most of our goals came from.” Masandawana co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi reflected on the encounter.

Coach Manqoba continued and explained his team’s tactics that lead to the big win against a team that was determined to defend for most of the time played. “Playing with a low block is always a challenge for any big team, which is the reason why we decided to play with two strikers up top to be able to put balls into the box. When dealing with a low block, the competition between Pavol Safranko and Peter Shalulile will always scare the opponent and they will start to think about stepping up a little bit. If you are dealing with a low block naturally the wide channels are a little bit open, if they start to close the wide channels then the half spaces for Mshishi and Neo Maema start to open, then we have two strikers in the box that are looking to exploit those possibilities.”

“We want to try not to do that because it’s what normally teams in the PSL would want, to sit back and close that area, and that’s why in most games (if you have noticed) we play with two strikers up top, so that in case that happens then we will open the game up either with a set pieces, a cross or a diagonal ball. When we saw the cross that Mshishi and Maema played, those possibilities are an outcome of having two strikers sitting inside with the two center backs and it’s not always easy for center backs to deal with that.”

Masandawana’s dominance on ball rotation and passing has become a regular task for them when playing – both local and continental football, and this has proved to be a difficult duty for teams to grasp their philosophy and playing style. Downs’ Coach Manqoba revealed that there are opportunities for opponents to capitalize on this style of play instead of sitting back and allowing his team to play the ball.

“We are a possession based team, [therefore this means that] we are very open behind our defense, which is why it becomes very important that when you lose possession of the ball you don’t give opponents the chance to see the challenges that you may be having at the back and that is why our counter pressing is our bread and better. It’s normal for a team that is a possession based team because you are always going to be deep into the opposition’s half, your last line is probably around the halfway line and any ball that is played behind you will always cause you problems, and that is why counter pressing is always highly emphasized [as well as] our rest defence. [We] make sure that we put players and bodies in areas that the ball is most likely to go in case we lose possession of the ball and our full backs are responding very well in making sure that they don’t give that space behind.”

1 Response
  1. muzi kunene

    Dawanas I’m watching our last game against Maritzburg United which I recorded and I’m busy analyzing Sofranko’s performance what I’ve notice lately he will be our trump card this season because he doesn’t give the opposition defenders the time to relax and Shalulile is free from tightly marking.
    Let’s give him time to settle well and understand our carpet football.