Nothing festive about Mamelodi Sundowns’ scoring
By Herman Gibbs 10m ago
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CAPE TOWN – The rate at which Mamelodi Sundowns hashed goalscoring chances in their 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates caused coach Manqoba Mngqithi to declare: "We were a bit in Christmas mode."
Mngqithi was addressing the media at Loftus in a postmatch interview on Saturday. He rued Sundowns' missed scoring opportunities.
“I think it went the way we planned yet I still think we were a bit in Christmas mode. I think we could have scored a lot of goals in this match,” said Mngqithi.
"We could have been more composed and clinical in our moments. Because we knew they have a very high line. There were times when their keeper was left alone with (Thulani) Hlatshwayo, but we never really exploited those moments.
"Once again we should complement the work done by everyone around the team. I believe the group is working extremely hard, the technical staff, support staff and players."
Sundowns remain at the top of the Premiership standings and are three points ahead of Moroka Swallows, who have a game in hand. Brian Onyango's goal just past the hour mark turned out to the match winner.
“The game went very well, three points were very important for us,” said Mngqithi. “We knew it was going to be a six-pointer for us. I am happy with the boys. I am happy with the coaches and everybody else within the team that did very well.
"When you want to win a championship, it's very important to have depth. We have had moments where already this year we lost maybe eight or nine players.
"The game against (Golden) Arrows, for example. But we still managed to come back with something, and people thought we are saving players for the Champions League.
"It was not the case because players were just not available for many other reasons. But we went to Botswana (to play Jwaneng Galaxy) with a team that was again short of 10 or 11 players. And once again the group worked very hard and we managed to come back with the result.
"In essence, we've not really had our best 11 in the last five matches because of injuries, medical stuff and things like that. And also Covid-19.
“We must also say that Covid-19 is there and alive. Fortunately, our management is working very hard to make sure that we do a test as much as possible to make sure that we do not transfer it to other people.
"If I can speak myself, I have tested three times. We want to make sure we keep it safe and that everyone is available. And those who are playing are not in a better position to infect others. That for me is a noticeably big initiative."
Sundowns will next be in action tomorrow against Botswana visitors Jwaneng Galaxy in a Caf Champions League first-round second-leg match in Tshwane. Sundowns lead the tie 2-0 going into the match.