Mamelodi Sundowns collected 1 point on the road in their DStv Premiership battle with AmaZulu on Wednesday night. The Tshwane giants took advantage of Usuthu’s defensive errors in their own half when they dispossessed Larry Bwalya of the ball in the twenty fifth minutes of the first half, Bongani Zungu netted the first goal and Peter Shalulile doubled the lead in the second half. The home team found their way back into the encounter and managed to put two past Ronwen Williams as both teams walked away with a point apiece.
“AmaZulu were a worthy opponent, they came from 2-0 down and it was a good game of football, I am sure everyone enjoyed it. It’s not good for the coaches because it’s tough, but these were not the results that we wanted, but there’s a lot of positives and some good minutes for a lot of players.” Said The Brazilians Head Coach, Rulani Mokwena after the match.
Bafana Ba Style looked determined to score more goals in the encounter, with missed opportunities both in the first and second half, Coach Rulani indicated that the results could’ve been better. “We created a lot of chances today, normally we rotate the team like this and then there’s no fluidity and we don’t play. Today we played very well with a lot of changes, we had good rhythm and good passes especially because we started off so well.”
“We have a hectic schedule, while also managing the results. We also have to manage the minutes. It was important that we take Peter [Shalulile] and [Themba Zwane] Mshishi out exactly at 60, and after that we struggled a little bit. They [AmaZulu] put on more strikers and loaded the ball into the box which is not easy, like they’ve been doing in most of their games. But it’s football, you have to just have to keep knuckling down and keep working and just trying to improve all the time.”
Coach Rulani went on to add that, even though the results have let him down, the dedication and labor of the players was evident in the match: “I am disappointed with the results, but there are more positives than the disappointments. The disappointment is there for sure, but the positives of how we scored the goals in open play, how we had some very good transitions and created chances.”
“We had really good chances, Jody [February] pulled off a very big save from Mshishi, [Thabiso] Kutumela got the chance to put Gaston through, [Abbubaker] Mobara had a little flick and it changed the direction of the ball and it’s a big chance if the ball goes through. Gaston [Sirino] played Peter through and he slipped at the last minute inside the box, if he didn’t slip I think we all know what the story is. This group fights, they give their best and I am very proud of the players and their efforts.”
The Brazilians only kept three players from their previous line up over the weekend, giving their youngster Ntandonkosi Nkosi a start, as well as Lebohang Maboe and Terrence Mashego. Coach Rulani didn’t shy away from giving his analysis on the performance of the players in KwaZulu-Natal, he said: “It’s a difficult period for us because mentally to win the league with seven games to go it’s tough, because now you’re seven games and everybody expects you to be at this level and you’re also trying to win over minutes.”
“Academy graduates like Ntando were good, Gaston was good and got good minutes. [Thabiso] Kutumela, Terrence, Rushine [De Reuck] and [Bongani] Zungu got some very good minutes and even scored. You can’t have it all in football, and that’s why you win some and you lose some, that’s life.”
Masandawana get back into action on Saturday when they lock horns with Marumo Gallants in the DStv Premiership.