FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Sundowns lie in wait for Pirates after shutting out Galaxy

By Herman Gibbs Time of article published Sep 20, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Mamelodi Sundowns had a stimulating hit out against lowly TS Galaxy over the weekend ahead of Sunday's bumper top-of-the-table clash against Orlando Pirates.

Sundowns, after a subdued first half, signed off eventual 3-0 winners after Galaxy were exposed in the second half, and conceded three unanswered goals. Despite the outcome, Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena was concerned that his charges failed to impose themselves on the match after enjoying 64% possession in the opening half.

"We were not so happy with our first-half performance," said Mokwena. "We made a lot of movements and sometimes you know you don't blame the players because they want to get rid of their markers.

“A team that does really well in their defensive scheme will they rotate on the field when they go man-to-man.

"Sometimes the automatic reaction is to think that with a lot of movement you can lose your marker, but the reality is, you can compromise the structure of the team.

"When that happens, we don't have the right sort of balance."

Mokwena said the technical staff addressed the first-half concerns during the interval.

“We fixed it a bit at half-time, and the players responded to the instructions.

“We kept a bit more simplicity with our movements. Our structure was fixed in and out of possession.

"Then we got the three goals. It was a gallant fight against a very aggressive and well-organised team.

"We work a little bit hard on our schemes when we are in possession. Our rest defence is critical as is counter-pressing and tactical fouls.

“Congratulations to Sundowns and to the team for a lot of good work throughout the week.

"A lot of people say our success is a result of the resources we have and it's true.

"We are blessed to have the leadership we have, and we're blessed to have such leaders as in the president, the chairman who support us as much as they do."

Sundowns will take on the in-form Pirates at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, and the showdown should be a humdinger after the Buccaneers scored come from behind 3-1 win over lowly Chippa United at the weekend.


IOL Sport

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