Royal AM coach John Maduka has not given up hope of his team qualifying for the CAF Champions League despite Monday’s defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns.
Cape Town — Royal AM coach John Maduka has not given up hope of his team qualifying for the CAF Champions League despite the 3-2 defeat to champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Monday.
The match at the Chatsworth Stadium was a rearranged fixture after it was postponed from last Saturday due to the heavy rains in the KwaZulu-Natal region over the weekend.
Maduka’s charges produced a late rally after going behind 3-0 on the hour mark, but the two goals late in the second half from Victor Letsoalo and Mokete Mogaila were not enough to snatch a point.
Royal AM therefore remain on 46 points – three behind second-placed Cape Town City – heading into their league match of the season against Orlando Pirates. The Thwili Thwahla require only a victory over Pirates to overtake City as they have a superior goal difference.
“We still have a chance. It won’t be easy because it’s another difficult team but we have another chance,” Maduka said. “We must start the game well to finish strong.”
The Dstv Premiership rookies are starting to show signs that their first season in the top flight is taking its toll with Maduka forced to shuffle his players around, especially in defence, to account for injuries.
He though remains proud that his team continues to show great courage and character until the bitter end. We were playing against a team of this high caliber. They are a quality team. They will punish you,” he said.
“We have a problem. But I can’t fault the players though. We are playing midfielders in defence because of the injuries we have. They are trying.
“You have to be well-balanced because teams like this will punish you if you’re not. It’s not easy going doe. 3-0 but they fought hard and never gave up.”