Mamelodi Sundowns suffered defeat on the road when they traveled to Lucas Moripe Stadium on Friday night to lock horns with SuperSport United in the Tshwane derby. Just five days prior to the second derby in the capital, The Brazilians took control of the match with a dominant performance to overthrow their rivals in the MTN8 quarter finals clash, an unexpected loss to United denied the Champions an opportunity to move up the log. Downs Co-Coach Manqoba Mngqithi summarized the encounter as eventful, despite the disappointing outcome.
“I think it was a good match, both teams came with the intention to try and fight for the results. I think our first half was offensively very good, we created far too many chances not to score even one goal in the first half, but defensively we had too many irritating moments because we identified what SuperSport does. We profiled it very well that every time they break out they will always look to go to the wide channels and immediately without any hesitation they are going to put the ball in the box, and both goals that we conceded were an outcome of something that we identified.”
“We trained to deal with it but still got caught in those moments and both moments we were a little bit lethargic in terms of our aggression to try and kill the cross and not to allow the cross. The second one in as much as initially I thought Thapelo [Morena] should’ve just gone to the ball before it bounced, I thought he took it for granted that the ball would bounce and go out. But after reviewing it I also saw that there was also a nudge from Iqraam [Rayners] which set him off balance and that’s why he got an opportunity to be able to put the ball in the box, but had he just cleared the ball before it bounced maybe we would not be talking this story and the worst part is to concede in those critical moments of the game.”
Masandawana had a bright start to the game, creating goal scoring moments early but with no luck to score as the hosts were outdone in terms of possession in the first half but looked far more efficient with the ball up-front. United scored two goals before going into the break, the first goal came within the first 8 minutes of the match and the other one was scored at 45 minutes. The Brazilians Coach identified parts of the game that led to their unsuccessful venture at Lucas Moripe Stadium, he said:
“There were areas that we were unhappy about that we had to try and resolve, [like] how we conceded the goals and also the fact that we did not take our chances. And we did not really keep the structure that we wanted to keep, more especially in the half spaces to try and exploit the outside of Siyabonga Nhlapho and [Thalente] Mbatha but we also knew very well that it’s a game that needed a little bit more in terms of aggression and a fight.”
“In terms of our first cycle we fell off in terms of the number of points but we still [managed to get] 10 points in five matches and we still have 12 points to fight for in this cycle. In terms of the title defense I don’t think there’s so much that has happened that should suggest that we are off the rails or the title is going to be very, very difficult. it is always difficult to play SuperSport, it is always difficult to fight for the Championship in South Africa, it looks like it’s easy in the end but it’s never easy.”
Bafana Ba Style will be back in action on Wednesday, 7 September when they travel to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to meet Chippa United. Kick off is at 19H30.