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Mngqithi – The Better Team Lost

Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi has insisted the better team lost and explained why he believes Masandawana are still favourites to win the tie against Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly.

The 50-year-old saw his side dominate proceedings in Cairo on Saturday night but come away with a 2-0 first-leg defeat.

Despite the scoreline, Mngqithi believes his side still have a 60% chance to go through to the semi-final and praised his players for their performances.

“I’m very happy with how the players played. I think we performed very well,” he explained in his post-match press conference.

“And on the percentage of what is likely to happen at home. I’ll give Sundowns 60 and I’ll give Al Ahly 40.

“Like I expected, it was always going to be a  tactical game and I believe we we played very well, very unfortunate not to score,”

“I’ve never seen a team come into Egypt to dominate Al Ahly in possession and to see Al Ahly play their counter-attacking game at home was also very interesting for me.

“But this was only the first half, the second half is in Johannesburg.

“We started the game very well, kept the ball very well. Played very good in the half spaces, forced them on their back foot, but unfortunately we didn’t take the chances that we got. We hit the upright first, another header after the corner kick.

“And the second half was very good. I think we were very, very good in the second half. We wish would have benefited but surprisingly when we played even better in second half, we did not create as many chances as we did in the first half.

“[Mohamed] El Shenawy also came to the party and saved them from another very good corner kick. I think, if we got that goal, it would’ve been really open.

“I still have a lot of respect for Al Ahly, very intelligent players. [Mohamed] Sherif is very instrumental up top. [Ayman] Ashraf, I think, he also showed a lot of quality in the half spaces. Mohamed [Taher] was very clinical in his finish. That was a very well taken shot, good stuff.

“But I still believe we were the better team football-wise but we lost the match.” 

Sundowns have it all to do in their second leg at home against Al Ahly next week Saturday, when they will welcome Mosimane and his men at the Lucas Moripe Stadium. 

“IT’S NOT US vs PITSO,” Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Rulani Mokwena told iDiski Times‘ David Kappel and you can read his full exclusive interview, where he also chats about his relationship with Mosimane, why he admires Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, which advise Jurgen Klopp gave him as well as his dream of coaching in Europe, in this week’s edition – available in English and Zulu.

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