Monday Jan 27, 2020. 12:00
Mamelodi Sundowns manager Pitso Mosimane has explained that he was “not happy” with the performance of his team in the CAF Champions League this past weekend.
The South Africans needed a late goal from defender Motjeka Madisha to secure a 2-2 draw away to Petro de Luanda in Angola on Saturday afternoon.
Though ‘Downs had already secured a quarterfinal berth in the previous round of matches, the clash in Luanda was an important one in trying to claim top spot in Group C and therefore avoid fellow group winners (such as reigning champions Esperance de Tunis and DR Congo powerhouse TP Mazembe) in the final eight.
Sundowns still enjoy a two-point lead over second-placed Wydad Casablanca, but a loss at home to the Moroccan side this coming weekend would see them drop to second and be paired with a group winner – something they want to avoid if they are to win a second continental crown.
“We tried to win‚ but I don’t know if we really tried very hard to win‚” Mosimane explained after the match, as quoted by Business Live.
“It is the mentality. Sometimes the players know they have already qualified [for the quarterfinals] and they don’t give the right intensity to the match.
“The [prize] is to finish top of the group. Right now we are top‚ but we are still not qualified as top until match-day six happens. We still have to play for the result in SA. I thought we wouldn’t have to‚ but we will.”
The former South African national team manager added, “The obstacle [to winning] was ourselves. Maybe they could not take the heat‚ you must never underestimate playing at 2pm in this weather. It was the same for both teams‚ but the home side understands the conditions of playing at this time.
“We can play quicker‚ but today we were slow in our build-ups. It is not the way we usually are. The team we played was missing a lot of players‚ but I am not happy with the performance. We got a point‚ but we can do better.”
Sundowns will wrap up the group stage campaign with a home clash against Wydad in Tshwane on the afternoon of Saturday 1 February.