Coach Rulani Upbeat on Getting Positive Results in CAFCL Thriller

Mamelodi Sundowns will look to turbocharge their pursuit of a spot in the CAF Champions League finals when they resume their semifinals campaign on Friday evening at Loftus Versfeld. They will head to Friday’s clash on the back of a 1-0 deficit to ES Tunis. Looking ahead of the encounter in their backyard, Coach Rulani has backed his side to overturn the results and advance to the final stage of the competition.

Backing the Brazilians throughout the campaign, has been the Yellow Nation and the Masnadawana coach stated the importance of winning the second leg for them as they have carried them to this point in both home and away matches.

“We understand that it’s only halftime, but a halftime that we go into with a disadvantage. With commitment, enthusiasm and positivity, we know that we can overturn the result. The good thing about the second leg is that it takes place in front of our people and we want to do it for them and make them happy. We are looking excited and forward to what is going to be a very exciting game,” he stated.

Following the conclusion of the first leg, Coach Rulani was confident in how his charges played and still maintains that they performed very well away from home, even after watching the game. He went in-depth on what he thinks his side did well in and what they could work on before Friday’s clash.

“After watching the game, yes I still have the very same feeling. I think there were some good things that we did very well and those things were controlling certain players of the opposition, which include trying to dominate possession, trying to play a little bit higher than we would normally do, trying to defend the set pieces which we know is a big strength of the opposition and trying to control the rotations that happen on the left and right. There were things for sure that I think we could have done better and Esperance did better than us, like having constant pressure around our box.”

Looking at the statistics of two legged fixtures, Bafana Ba Style have predominantly had better second legs than first legs. When asked whether that has been a concern for his side, Coach Rulani mentioned that it is something he has recently brought up. He said: “it’s actually been one of my criticisms of late in our debriefs, where I get the feeling that they wait for me to help them solve problems. I’d like to see them taking a little bit more responsibility and to solve the problems while they face them instead of waiting for halftime and corrections, because sometimes it’s a little bit too late for that.”

“The one thing I keep saying to them is these games we are about to play from now until the end of the season, you will only value or understand how important it is to play from minute zero to minute 96 after the game. That’s the only time you will realise how important it was to motivate and push yourself from minute one to minute 96,” the coach continued.

Mamelodi Sundowns will clash against Tunisian side, ES Tunis on Friday evening at Loftus Versfeld. Kick off is set for 20H00.


12 Responses
  1. Mfana

    Positive results?When Rhulani will b fielding Lorch &bring Maseko as a sub a complete headless chicken.Then Sirino &Mendieta will b seated at home?Really?Again instead of putting Lunga at left back he wll b a centre back.Then Shalulile wll not b getting any supply or wll start from the bench.Your downfall is playing a knockout game hay iyakubhida shame.I so wish u just worked hand in hand with ur former co-coaches until u can stand on your own.Its so strange just Sundowns continues 2 lose in every CAF semi finals,so nothing was learnt against Casablanca last year.Plz don’t bring Maseko 2day whether we r winning or losing,nothing is brought by this boy at all.

  2. Downs4ever

    Very much proud of the first half,the hunger is there above all, our Sundowns is back,this is the Sundowns we love.Proud of no matter what happens.Sundowns should approach every game like this.

  3. Dalom

    As hard as we tried, I think we lost the game in the 1st leg. This Esperance is not strong at all, and Al Ahly will easily beat them both away and at home. We need to get better central defenders, both Grant and Mvala are hopeless. We need ball-playing central defenders. The left-back position is also suspect, maybe Mashego could’ve done much better with better crosses than Lunga. Esperance’s goal came from both Lunga and Mvala, 3 players against 1 and they failed to close him down. How the Analyst substituted Shalulile instead of Ribeiro is just unimaginable.

  4. Muzi Kunene

    Today I saw a Downs I knew we played nicely and if we were like this in Tunisia we would had scored many goals.I can’t falter our players they were attacking from the first whistle.
    This away goal thing is killing our football we must abolish it after Tunisia scored you could see the momentum and hunger for scoring dropped a little bit because we were supposed to score three goals.
    Next season let’s sign two deadly strikers then we will be complete.Kby forever.

  5. Downs4ever

    We must learn from this North African teams, they are efficient,they trust their players,they play them on merit,they have brave technical team.I can bet my last dollar,if their keeper was playing for us he would have been loaned because of his age even though he is talented,I was puzzled to see Onyango on the bench when he went off injured in the previous game and February performed we in his place,this is the reason why many of us cry favouritism,Matthews played well during the week come next game,players who have provided nothing for the whole season play a head of him,we should always strive to play our inform players so that others learn to earn their starting place not given on a silver plate,this is what stopping us from reaching the highest peak,if the technical team can iron that the sky will really be the limit.I think technically we got it wrong,I think between Kekana or Mvala one should have partnered Riva and bench another for more offensive one.coz it didn’t help to have Mval,Kekana,Riva and Aubaas at the same time when we are chasing the game.The substitution of Shalulile puzzled me when Costa was a spectator and tired,Shalulile was our only life wire upfront.Matthews should have replaced Maseko.Please coach start with Shalulile and Matthews in our next game.Performance wise I can’t falter anyone,we did what we had to do,luck was not on our side.If we can perform the way we did last night we can easily win Nedbank.

  6. Dalom

    The coach must fall. Everyone has been telling him the obvious, and now he comes back and claim that he’s not being appreciated. His arrogance is his downfall. Steve Barker must go and finish him off while he’s still on the ropes. We played well yesterday because we abandoned the useless patient build-ups that he so cherished. Pitso used to switch to that kind of system when he was using Khama Billiat as a false 9, and we used to kill a lot of teams, and the irony about it is that he was an assistant to Pitso during that time. It can’t always be beautiful football all the time. We have Shalulile upfront who can do exactly what Billiat used to do.

  7. Kick boboza

    Hard luck Masandawa a, yesterday we Played very well. Created a lot of chances and luck was not on our side. Thanks to the players, technical team, players and the yellow nation. masandawa a let us stop blaming the coach. That man is more stressed than us for losing this game. I am excited that we qualified for world club tournament and 1 billion is in the bag. Gud luck to ES Tunis, I wish them the best final.

  8. Ayanda

    It was not our day, luck was not on our side, we could play 90 more and still loose .The approach, attitude and tactics were good and this is how we should have played in Tunisia in the first leg.The left back position is our weakest link, there is nothing wrong with our central defenders.Shalulile I agree should not have been substituted and next time he should partner with Mettews and I feel Nku could have done something yersterday given the many opportunities we had.Coach you also have mistakes like any human being and as such it would be unfair to call fir your head at this point.At least the team has qualified for the world cup and wena you need ti win us the champions league next season failing which you should be go back to assistant and Manqoba back at the helm, honestly sundowns does not need a new coach who is going to temper with the progress we see now.

  9. Thatoh

    Hardluck Masandawana, you played well, and I cannot falter you, you tried your best, we all saw that. I think maybe we just need to reconsidere our strategy against teams that play low-blocks, I know my team wants to play football but perhaps we need to play football to teams that want to play football, for the fact that they can change their style of play when they play against us, tells you perhaps we also need to be adaptive to change, and do the same, not because we fear tyem or anything but because we risk having the Yanga and the Esperance Situation, where we dominate but end up with no results. Let’s also defend and rather play Javelin football where we sit back and throw balls upfront like Hugo Bros did at AFCON, and rather go to Penalties and Ronza deal with them, in that way we even train the penalty shooters because we would’ve expected penalties as the end result, I know it’s not our style of play but we run a risk fetting these sucker punches which makes us question our football unnecessary.

    Otherwise Hardluck team, let’s please take this lesson going forward in CAF and have a solution ASAP for Low-Blocks, because I notice even our local rivals Tuks, Swallows seemingly copied our CAF rivals i.e Yanga and Esperance, by defending deep, let’s rather have Plan B for such games and be adaptive.

  10. Makhosonke

    Rulani and Bro Manqoba they are good very good just they don’t have plan B, and is not about beautiful football always… We bowed out kuChampions league when we were playing Swallows how could you use your 1st team on a domestic league that you’ve already won, the was a time when our players were call up on Bafana duty our Coach complained about over working our players and they come with injuries but he also done the very same thing when we played Swallows… But you are a good coach or coaches… Lastly I think you must talk to Riberio to be a team player it’s not about himself only, learn to Allende…

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