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Mokwena – A Spirited Fight Back

Mamelodi Sundowns co head coach Rulani Mokwena says it was a spirited fight as Sundowns came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Golden Arrows in the MTN8 semi-final first leg on Saturday.

Arrows scored early, and while Sundowns dominated possession, and controlled the game, the breakthrough only came in the dying minutes.

Mokwena says it was tough going, but it was a strong performance and a spirited fight back.

“A spirited comeback, a spirited fight, a good demonstration of the mentality that we possess in the team,” Mokwena said after the game.

“And, of course, not easy to start the match and immediately be on the backfoot. Particularly when we know what challenge lies ahead of us in relation to being the team that’s got a target on its back.

“And we know that a lot of the teams that we will face, already this season in four matches – maybe in all four matches in certain moments – had teams that reinforced their defensive block and sat in and around their defensive third, and looking to play a counter attack.

“So okay, of course, when they had the one nil, they had all the right to do that, and their organisational forms were very good.

“But we were in control all the time, and we had a lot of possession. I mean, I think, for the first time ever, I see 93% ball possession?

“And then when you have that as an indicator, you’re clear in saying there is light at the end of the tunnel, we just have to continue to trust in the process and continue to work on the ideas that we have. And at the same time while we working on those ideas, try to to make sure that we work in one direction and we pull everybody together with us.

“And that’s the most important thing is to keep the spirit high and the confidence in a good position, and even in difficult circumstances where we play against very good opposition this afternoon.

“And also at the same time difficult conditions. But a spirited fight back and compliments to the players for demonstrating their commitment and their desire to see the team move closer to the final.”