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Mngqithi – We Could Have Buried The Game

Manqoba Mngqithi says he was pleased with the effort from his Mamelodi Sundowns team in their 4-1 win over Orlando Pirates in Thursday’s Nedbank quarter-final.

Mngqithi says though, they could have wrapped up the result earlier, and when Pirates were able to equalise in the first half, they almost allowed their opponents back into the game.

But he credits his players for doing well to stunt the transition play of Pirates, and also be composed in going forward.

Sundowns will host Tshakhuma in the semi-finals on Sunday.

“I think the game came out the way we had anticipated it,” Mngqithi said in the post match presser.

“We knew that if we can press them from the top and put some pressing traps on certain individual players we can benefit and in our analysis, we also saw that they concede a lot of goals in the early stages of the match, and that’s why we applied a lot of pressure, particularly in the first half, and also beginning of the second half, because we knew they are prone to making a lot of mistakes in those moments.”

“But what was more important for us was to guard against their transitions from defense to attack, because they’re very quick, which was unfortunate for us, to concede the goal that we conceded, because we knew that on transition they are very dangerous and our counter pressing was not proper.”

“Again, it was from a situation where we were already facing their last line of defense. And we made a mistake. And they capitalized on that and they fought for the space behind the defense, our rest defense was not one of the best, and we did not break the press when they realize that they might be looking for the space behind, because we did not have counter pressing players around the problem when we lost possession.”

“But credit must be given to our boys, I think they worked very hard to make sure that they minimize a lot of transitions because you know, when you’re playing against Pirates, if you make the game to be back and forth, back and forth a lot, you’re putting it into a contest. And once it’s a contest, it’s a game that they are more comfortable with and they can punish you from from that game, because it becomes mainly more accidental than anything else because no one is clinical in keeping the ball and making sure that they do not have momentum in the transitions”.

“And I think we did that very well. More composed in our buildups, frustrated them a lot with the movement of the ball, unfortunately when you don’t take your chances then you make the game to go into a contest because from the chances we created first half, we could have buired the game at that point, but when you don’t take your chances at a certain point they get a silly goal and from that goal now the game is back into a contest.”

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