Home Sport Rulani Mokwena rues Mamelodi Sundowns Champions League exit

Rulani Mokwena rues Mamelodi Sundowns Champions League exit

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Mokwena cut a frustrated figure as his side bowed out of the competition as he spoke about how much work went into their game with his assistant coach Michael Loftman.

Rhulani Rulani Mokwena head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena said he did not have all the answers, in the wake of his side’s Caf Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Tunisia’s Esperance on Friday night.

Sundowns lost the first leg in Tunisia 1-0 last week, and went down by the same scoreline again when the sides met again in Pretoria.

Despite a whopping 27 shots on goal in the second, Sundowns could not find that elusive score against their tactically astute opposition.

Mokwena cut a frustrated figure as his side bowed out of the competition as he spoke about how much work went into their game with his assistant coach Michael Loftman.

“It’s okay to not have all the answers. Coach Michael and I spent a lot of time talking to analysts of Tottenham and Liverpool about how you break down a reinforced block [defence].

“Fortunately they gave us so many ideas, clips, notes and presentations that they made to their teams when they played against Crystal Palace and West Brom and shared some of the tactical concepts they tried to develop,” said Mokwena.

“When I don’t know the answer, I try to surround myself with people who are even smarter than myself to give me ideas and solutions.”

Sundowns, though, are hurtling towards the local DStv Premiership title with a 13-point lead at the top of the table.

Still, missing out on continental glory once more clearly was a painful blow for Sundowns and Mokwena.

“I can’t really talk about Sundowns the last few years, but where we are right now. I can say I’m very proud of this group to do what they’ve done and been so close all the time.

“But it’s football. Good sometimes is not good enough. People expect you to have all the answers, but it’s okay to say I don’t have all the answers. People like Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs have been asked in meetings how they improve the product, and they’ve said they don’t know. And those are the most successful business people in the world.

“I think today we were very unlucky. Sometimes even when you are unlucky, you have such bad luck because we conceded such a soft goal. You need luck in this competition.

Before they scored, we had two really good chances to score and then from absolutely nothing – a kick from their keeper into our half – and the ball was in the back of the net. That’s football isn’t it?”

@Golfhackno1

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