Coach Rulani Mokwena Reflects On Win Against Babina Noko

Mamelodi Sundowns moved eight points clear at the top of the DStv Premiership log after beating Sekhukhune United 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Masandawana returned to their excellent form and dominance when they met Babina Noko at the TUKS Stadium securing maximum points to remain in their top position. Goals by Neo Maema and Themba Zwane put the defending Champions in good position to be in total control of the game, however second half mistakes by The Brazilians defense nearly canceled their brilliance on the day. Speaking to the media after the game was Downs co-coach Rulani Mokwena who narrated the events that lead upto Denis Onyango’s dismissal as he received a red card for his foul outside the penalty box.

“I always say to the players that there are going to be five or six errors leading up to the bigger error and sometimes when you concede a goal people look at the goal. It’s a simple situation where we should progress with the ball from the midfield, there’s no reason why the pass should go back to Grant [Kekana], then back to Andile Jali and Mosa [Lebusa] who clearly thought that the pass should go back to Denis in that moment because there’s two strikers and the other striker is a little bit hidden on his shoulder, and he’s not aware of the situation and the back pass catches him unaware. You can clearly see with the body position that he was not expecting the pass.”

“When you’re a center back for Sundowns you have to be able to have the ability to play under pressure and help the team not just to retain possession but to progress closer to the goal of the opposition from the pass and he couldn’t do that . And then of course the error which then compromised Denis a little bit, and with the compromised situation, possibly very difficult to make any other decision except maybe look to guide, but if the striker is gone it becomes a little bit of a situation. But if you don’t get him into that compromised situation then you don’t have the red card. We are together, we win together, when we lose, we lose together, when we make mistakes we are together, we never single out any individuals because that’s what big teams do. Big teams take pressure, they make mistakes and achieve success together. Big teams share everything together and then they move and make progress together and that’s what we will continue to do.”

Bafana Ba Style are fearlessly leading the pack in domestic league competition and Coach Rulani believes in working through the process and taking every fixture as it comes and applying a winning mentality before looking at points that they have not collected yet. He said, “You can never ever count your chickens before they hatch in football, we take it one game at a time, and we prepare for the games to play and win.”

“Even if we get to sixty points and we feel that the league is wrapped up, we have the responsibilities to this club, to the management, the ownership of the club and the supporters of the club to make sure we play and win every single match. That says then that your process is governed by principles, values and the profile of the club and not by points. We don’t look at points or how much we need, we focus on trying to make sure that we build a very strong team on the pitch.”

The winning coach further applauded his troops for their on and off the field conduct, regarding the success of the players to the quality of humanity and dedication that they have.

“The game belongs to the players, they have the responsibility to the club to make sure that they are competitive every single day, to make sure that they are ready every single day at training and they have the responsibility to show up every single day at training to fight and to compete. When you have such good human beings it’s easier to maintain the group dynamics and make sure that the spirit that’s within the group is very good. The biggest benefit is that we have good human beings and to be a good football player in my opinion you need to be a good person.”

3 Responses
  1. Luvuyo Pomolo

    I have been watching closely the last two games. And I wonder why there is such favoritism at this team. Coaches can’t tell me Safranko can play ahead of Sirino, Khuliso Mudau can play ahead of Morena. Safroanko can’t trap the ball, can’t shoot . Our coaches must get their act together before it’s getting out of hand yesterdays game should have ben rapped UT at first half

  2. Mfana

    Congratulations Masandawana for a great result.I so wish that we can deal with this game in hand &we must be clear with 11 points ahead of the chasing pack.Khuliso Mudau can play ahead of Morena.Because Khuliso can cover a lot of ground going forward and coming back to defend,he wins aerial balls,he can tackle opponents.There’s no goal that has been conceded on his right hand side where he is playing.Morena is very great when going forward but other elements of defence I see nothing that come out of Morena.Morena previously has been dragged from the centre line by Makaringe while still at Maritzburg,&I believe that has happened more than twice by the same player.Against Al Ahly it was the same thing in the quarter finals of CCL.Safranko is prepared to play for Sundowns while Sirino’s mind is not here.He came as substitute in recent games but if I’m not wrong against Ctn City he showed nothing.Maybe a player like Sfiso Ngobeni,Kapinga,Motupa,Mkhuma who have not featured in the starting lineup or the bench.But I have seen player’s rotting to the bench or staying at home for no apparent reason but deliberately frozen by Pitso.In all fairness these coaches have tried to give players game time.Sundowns is sitting comfortably at the summit of the log 8 points with a game in hand.We are not struggling to score goals. I saw an overweight Motupa who did not want to shedd his kilos of which is a sign of I’ll-descipline.Yes I agree with you Luvuyo, the coaches are trying their best to select Safranko just to prove us wrong.They made a huge blunder by bringing Safranko on our shores.Now they see nothing will come out of the lad.I cannot disagree with you for the sake of making an argument.We have seen it, it’s enough.Our next assignment is against a stubborn Stellies a tough nut to crack,they will be playing as if their lives depends on it.Keep doing a great job 3 wise men we r fully behind.

  3. Bango

    It is always like that from a recovery. We are persuaded for better things. We re no longer talking about ball possession with Sundowns, that is water under the bridge , that is our identity now.We are waiting for that goal in 5 Minutes,another in the 15th minute another in 30 minutes and second half it continues as if nothing happened first half. Scoring goals is what we wait to see. If Sundowns can utilize the goal scoring opportunities they create they can be a dangerous team anytime. Shalulile is not far from our expectations, we are looking for that striker that we know that a goal will come no matter what.There is no team,in the Psl that will respect Sundowns as probably would any other team, and as for Sundowns must know that every team wants to break a record, they must go for a kill from the onset. The approach and intensity must be the same like CAF game.Every player selected must use the opportunity given to the best of the team.They must also think about the supporters too. The pressure is there , we are waiting to see a real oiled machine upfront there.

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