Cape Town – Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena did not entertain the claims by the Egyptian football media at Saturday’s post-match press conference which followed the CAF Champions League encounter against Al Hilal in Sudan.
The match ended 1-1 and the Egyptian media was trying to say that Sundowns could have won the match, but failed to do so in an attempt to end Al Ahly’s bid for a spot in the Champions League play-offs.
There was so much riding on this match since the two Group B teams Al Hilal and 10-time Champions League title-holders Al Ahly, had yet to secure safe passage to the knock-out stages of Africa’s blue-ribband club competition.
As it turned out, the stalemate in Sudan still did not solve the problem, and the matter will be settled in the final Group B clash next month. The 1-1 result would have raised a huge sigh of relief in Cairo because the Egyptians Al Ahly will live to fight another day.
Mokwena did not entertain the question from the Egyptian media for too long and offered a curt answer.
“I do not respond to the media,” said Mokwena. “I say the work is on the pitch and things we did are on the pitch. We tried to win the game and that was evident on the pitch.”
Mokwena refused to blame his players for the unexpected draw which followed last week’s 5-2 thumping of Al Ahly in Pretoria.
ALSO READ: Yusuf Maart penalty sees Kaizer Chiefs grab all three points against Maritzburg United
“I am not paid to judge any team and before I judge my team, I judge myself,” said Mokwena.
“I will ask myself if I did everything possible to win the game. So we didn’t win the game and that’s (the blame) on me.
ALSO READ: How Xavi managed to adapt to his players and embrace the pragmatism of a 1-0
“First, I put pressure on myself before I put pressure and judgment on anybody else.”
In two weeks’ time, Sundowns will wrap up their Group B assignments with a home fixture against the winless Cameroon side Coton Sport.