Manqoba Mngqithi says he was delighted with the 5-1 win against CR Belouizdad in the CAF Champions League on Sunday, but says they were helped by the numerical advantage.
Belouizdad had a player sent off in the opening minutes of the game, and while it took a while for Sundowns to use their advantage, they did make full use of it in the second half.
Mngqithi says he really appreciated how his team responded in the second half, and thanked his technical team for their input at halftime.
“Coming into the game, I think we knew we are playing against a very good team,” Mngqithi said after the game.
“But we wanted to put our best foot forward and force them to defend because we did feel we got better conditions physically. And the atmosphere suits us a little bit better considering that we are coming from high altitudes, and we are used to playing in the afternoon and they are not used to playing in the afternoon.”
“So we wanted to push them and press them from the top, which I think worked because very early in the game, they committed a big error. And we were able to capitalize on that. But one must say we were also assisted by the fact that they got a red card very early in the game, which I would want my players to learn from this, because I still believe had that defender decided to just let the goal go on, they will still remain with a good number and be able to have a fighting chance in the game.”
“But unfortunately, because we were numerically superior, I felt first off we we took that to our heads, and we did not apply ourselves fully. We resorted to more ball possession instead of fighting to penetrate.”
“But when we worked on that aspect at half time and thanks to all my coaches for the input and the assistance that we got, even from our analysts, because second half, we came with a purpose and we really stretched their their defence, the way we could have done in the first half, but in football we learned from this, these experiences but one appreciates the fact that you’ve got the biggest scoreline away from home.”
“And one appreciates the kind of football that the players played on the day, the effort they put in, the team work they showed, the comradery and a very high work ethic really made me feel good that it was not just a good win in terms of the scoreline but the performance was also very good.”