I think we were a little bit more serious and willing to create opportunities – Coach Manqoba Mngqithi

Mamelodi Sundowns were successful in their away victory against Sekhukhune United on Tuesday at the Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

Masandawana stepped into their second away encounter with an impressive victory as they beat Babina Noko 2-0 in the DStv Premiership to continue their dominance in domestic league competition. The reigning champions’ co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi reviewed his team’s performance after the the delightful triumph:

“I think we started very well [but] once we got the goal from [Aubrey] Modiba I think we dropped the intensity a little bit, which nearly brought the opponents [to us]. In the last fifteen minutes of the first half I was not very impressed, I think we were playing a little bit negatively. But when we came back in the second half again we started with good intensity, good mentality to try and penetrate, but unfortunately Sekhukhune was a little bit resolute in trying to make it difficult for us to create clear cut scoring opportunities up until in the latter stages of the game where Peter [Shalulile] broke and he had an opportunity with the header. He had another opportunity where I thought he was fouled just before he took a shot that went wide, but I was impressed with the performance of the team in the second half.”

“I think we were a little bit more serious and willing to create opportunities, and they came with Justin Shonga and Prince Nxumalo to try and really play on the shoulder of our defenders. Overall I think it was a decent performance, I would not say it was one of our best performances.”

The Brazillians announced over ten players that were ruled out of the match day squad heading into the encounter against Sekhukhune, coach Manqoba highlighted the golden opportunity that was presented to other members in the team following the exclusion of wounded players from the squad: “To be honest we did not rest too many players, I think it’s at that stage of the season where most players have got some nibbling injuries here and there, now we are forced to bring in other players which I must say have performed very well.”

“We’ve brought Divine Lunga on two occasions to play as center back and he did an exceptional job, and fortunately today we played Pule Maraisane who was playing his first match for the club. He was the only player that had not had the chance to play a match this season and it was very important for us to make sure that we showcase what he’s capable of, because he’s not at Sundowns by mistake, he’s got what it takes to really be part of this group.”

“It’s very important that we still continue to try and achieve the number of points that we would’ve loved to achieve in each cycle and that is what is probably the main driving force, but on top of that we also have another responsibility to make sure that we use these matches as preparation matches for the final, maybe to see people who is raising their hands and telling us that maybe they also deserve an opportunity to be part of that final, that’s why we try to stretch the team as much as we can.”

Namibian international Peter Shalulile scored his 22nd goal in the DStv Premiership  in Masandawana’s 2-0 win over Sekhukhune. Shalulile is now three goals away from breaking Collins Mbesuma’s long standing of 25 league goals in a season, Coach Manqoba acknowledged Shalulile’s work rate and his contribution to The Brazilians’ success.

“I don’t think he’s that kind of a player that we need to make an extra effort to get him in a good space mentally. I think for one, he is very focused and professional, one player that maybe more than anything else he needs to be assisted to achieve that because I don’t even think it’s something that rings in his head that ‘I want to surpass Mbesuma’s record’.”

“Peter just wants to play football, he’s committed to his work and when he’s this close, you will wish as a coach that Peter can achieve these ultimate targets because he has done so well thus far. How long has it been in the PSL that we’ve had a striker that scores more than 20 goals per season? For him to go as far as maybe matching that record will be very good because I think he has really served us as Sundowns very well and we are very proud of him.”

1 Response
  1. jimmy

    How I wish Manqoba be given the head coach job assisted by Steve Khompela and relegate that too forward moto mouth to an analyst and a spoke person .