Mamelodi Sundowns’ technical team believes their killer instinct in front of goal will come with confidence‚ says co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Mngqithi admitted after his team’s 2-0 Caf Champions League Group B opening victory against Al-Hilal of Sudan at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday that the one deficiency of an otherwise efficient performance was that Downs could have killed the game off earlier.
Mosa Lebusa headed Sundowns ahead in the 10th minute but the Brazilians could not convert their dominance into goals until substitute Kermit Erasmus added a second in the 90th minute.
Mngqithi was pleased with Downs’ tactical superiority against a dangerous Hilal but admitted his side made life difficult for themselves by not making more of their chances.
“I think organisationally‚ what we were hoping for we managed to achieve because we did not want them to be more in our half‚ because aerially they are very strong and every time they got a set piece you could see it was difficult for us‚” Mngqithi said.
“But after scoring the first goal, we took our foot off the pedal a bit. And they started coming at us with a lot of free kicks‚ corner kicks and throw-ins around our final third. And that caused us problems.
“But we regrouped in the second half and demanded a high press‚ and stronger counter-pressing mentality‚ which was always going to be important against these guys.”
Sundowns’ opening win‚ along with TP Mazembe being held to a 0-0 draw in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Algeria’s CR Belouizdad‚ places the Pretoria team in the early lead of Group B and opens the way for progression to the quarterfinals.
“We are complaining about the team not being shrewd enough‚ and the people who you would expect to score these chances are the ones who unfortunately did not take them‚” Mngqithi said.
“And we have been complaining about this. If you look at the game against Chippa here‚ we scored two but could easily have scored eight. Stellenbosch became a humdinger at the end‚ but again we could have easily scored four more.”
Premiership leaders Sundowns meet Baroka FC next at Loftus on Wednesday.
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