Mokwena expects Sundowns’ better performance in second leg

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 12:19 PM Apr 01 2024
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach, Rhulani Mokwena.
Photo: Courtesy of Yanga
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach, Rhulani Mokwena.

YOUNG Africans SC was pegged back by Mamelodi Sundowns as the spoils were shared in the first leg of their CAF Champions League last-eight tie which took place in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

The game played at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Saturday evening ended in a goalless draw. 

It is anyone's tie to snatch when Sundowns hosts the second leg in South Africa on Friday.

Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena was not pleased with plenty of aspects of his side in a game where they controlled proceedings for the most part without being exceptional.

Mokwena felt Sundowns lost too many duels and rued the lack of calmness in the final third insisting they could have done better.

“In the first half, we struggled with a little bit of gaining control of the game. We lacked a little bit of compactness and couldn’t get the foot on the ball and play with a bit more control and dominate the game. We lost too many duels and second balls,” the gaffer disclosed.

“We looked a little bit better in the second half. I think we played with a little bit more intensity and then tried to go forward. We played against a good team, we knew it was going to be difficult,” Mokwena revealed.

“Regardless of whatever was going to be the score line we knew we were going to have to win in Pretoria and I think it remains the same,” the tactician noted.

The South African coach was pleased with how they contained Young Africans SC’s attack, restricting them to a couple of half chances.

Mokwena stated: “Yanga is a good side, I thought we defended well for most parts of the game and to keep off an attack with Musonda, Mzize, and Aziz Ki and to not give them many chances is good but we could have done more to create chances. The final pass didn’t come but alright let’s see how we go and try to improve in the second leg.”

“We can play better, we can do better and we can use the ball better. Even if we had won I would still say to you it is only halftime and we have to play better in the second leg and try to win,” the gaffer noted.

The aggregate winner of this clash will go on to face the victor of the stage’s other clash between Tunisia’s Espérance and Ivorian outfit ASEC Mimosas in the semi-finals set for late April.