Home Sport Sundowns incur coach’s wrath for failing to show a killer instinct

Sundowns incur coach’s wrath for failing to show a killer instinct

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Manqoba Mngqithi co-head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns during the CAF Champions League match against Al Ahly SC on 12 March 2022 at, FNB Stadium, Soweto. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

The team incurred Mngqithi’s wrath because they failed to exploit numerous scoring opportunities throughout the match, particularly in the first half when the team enjoyed an overwhelming 68% possession.

Cape Town – Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi has come down hard on his team because they showed a distinct lack of killer instinct in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Al Merrikh on Saturday, at the FNB Stadium.

The match wrapped up Sundowns’ Group A assignments in the Caf Champions League on a glorious note.

For the first time in Caf Champions League history, a team has finished with 16 points, and Sundowns were undefeated in all six matches. The previous mark stood at 15 points.

The team incurred Mngqithi’s wrath because they failed to exploit numerous scoring opportunities throughout the match, particularly in the first half when the team enjoyed an overwhelming 68% possession.

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He was very unhappy at halftime when the team returned to the dressing with a mere lone goal to show for their efforts.

“At the end of the first half, I was not very happy. I don’t want to lie,” said Mngqithi. “We had too much possession, but we were not incisive enough.

“We were not looking for possibilities to create more scoring opportunities. I had a big fight with (Aubrey) Modiba and others like Neo (Maema), (Lesedi) Kapinga and Haashim (Domingo).

“I felt they were playing too many back passes, even when they had found themselves in very good attacking positions.

“It seemed they were just content with the number of passes they would have in the game. They were not looking at the quality in terms of the number of chances created, the shots at goals and box entries. All these statistics are very important to us in our structures.

“When we looked at the stats at half-time, it showed we were five kilometres below what we normally have clocked. We were very unhappy with that because we would have loved a more incisive performance.

“We should have had a lot more shots at goals, a mentality to win the game, and a mentality to play proper attacking football when the need arose.

“There was no reason or a need for us to start concentrating on the possession when the scoreline was still 1-0 because anything could have happened.”

One player who did not upset Mngqithi was George Maluleka who scored the first goal. After enjoying a rare run-on XI slot, he produced a deft header to connect with a corner.

He was superb in the midfield playing alongside captain Andile Jali who was equally impressive.

“One must congratulate George for the goal that he scored because we believed it was important for him to get a goal in this match,” said Mngqithi. “He was working very hard, and we saw how much weight he has lost.

Substitute Kermit Erasmus was another player who delighted Mngqithi because the Sundowns strikers were not as prolific as they should be. Erasmus scored the final goal of the match with a terrific shot from range.

“Kermit as well, he has been trying hard and ended up being over-anxious,” said Mngqithi. “It is not nice for a striker to not get a goal in too long a time. When Kermit got that goal, it gave us confidence that he will now focus more on playing the game than on scoring.”

Sundowns will return to Premiership action against Swallows on Wednesday. Next Saturday, it will be a Nedbank Cup clash at home against ABC Motsepe League side, Summerfield Dynamos.

@Herman_Gibbs

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