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HomeCAF Champions LeagueMokwena Challenges Tunisian Media Over Esperance Tactics

Mokwena Challenges Tunisian Media Over Esperance Tactics

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena challenged Tunisian journalists over Esperance tactics saying they parked the bus at home.

Sundowns fell to a 1-0 defeat in their first leg CAF Champions League semi-final against the four-time African champions in Tunis on Saturday evening.

In the post-match press conference, he was questioned by a journalist over being tactically outplayed by Taraji as they secured a slender advantage to take to Tshwane next week.

“I don’t agree that tactically Esperance won, I fully disagree,” Mokwena said. 

“I think in football there’s two very important things during the 90 minutes, the first is how many chances are you able to create and who created the most chances? That’s the question he must answer me.

“Who created the most chances between us [Sundowns] and Esperance? Mamelodi yes. Thank you. Then who defended better, the one who gave more chances or the one who gave less chances? Did Mamelodi concede more chances to Esperance or did Esperance…

“They conceded more chances than Sundowns, how do you defend well if you concede more chances than the opposition? Maybe there’s a different perspective to they way I analyse football.

“When you defend you shouldn’t concede chances, that’s the way you defend. So I have to defend my team, I don’t agree with that statement, I’m sorry.”

The next journalist stated perhaps the question was rephrased incorrectly and that Esperance were more efficient with possession, hence taking the 1-0 win into the second leg fixtyre next week.

“Efficiency is not performance and tactics, if you talk about efficiency you are right, you’re efficient if you create one chance and score, you’re efficient, that’s a completely different topic and discussion we can have,” he said.

“But you can never say Esperance… in fact I would like to ask you guys [media], and this is you as Tunisian media, how may times do you see Esperance parking the bus at home and are you guys happy to see one of your biggest clubs in this country, playing Mamelodi Sundowns and parking the bus?

“If you guys are happy with that, okay, there’s no problem with that. You can praise Esperance without degrading Sundowns performance. You’re telling me Esperance tactics were superior which is completely false.”

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The two sides meet on Friday evening at Loftus Versfeld (20h00).

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.