Pretoria – Following his team’s disappointing 1-0 Premiership defeat to Kaizer Chiefs in Pretoria on Thursday, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane conceded his outfit were wasteful in front of goal and bad luck also played its part.
“Sometimes in life and in football you can’t have it all,” Mosimane said after the game at Loftus Versfeld.
Chiefs went eight points clear at the top of the Premiership standings, courtesy of a first half own-goal from Wayne Arendse, who sent the ball into his own net on eight minutes.
Despite falling behind with the game still in its infancy, Sundowns created several opportunities. Anthony Laffor and Cuthbert Malajila got themselves into areas where it looked harder to miss than to score.
“Anthony missed on the goal-line a header which I never thought he could miss,” Mosimane said.
“Cuthbert missed on the goal-line at the end, when it needed a tap-in. I don’t know what he decided to do.”
Teko Modise was denied a stunning goal in the third minute when Chiefs benefited from a fair amount of good fortune, after the midfielder’s thunderous effort struck the underside of the crossbar, bouncing onto the back of goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and hopping away from the goal and out of danger.
“Teko’s shot that came off the post and hit Itu’s (Itumeleng) back, normally in football that ball goes in… tonight it went out.”
Mosimane, however, dismissed notions that the Premiership title was slipping away from the Pretoria outfit, having last won in the league on December 1 and falling eight points off the pace of the defending champions.
“If you look at the points, yes, it’s a little bit of a concern. But if you look at the game tonight, you have to take it and understand that it’s football.
“So these things do happen. It happens to big teams. It happened to us now, it happened to Manchester United… I’ve seen it happen to Chelsea.
“What I’m happy about, is that we played football, we gave our best. Unfortunately, these things do happen, scoring off own-goals. Life goes on, we’ll continue.”
Mosimane, who, like his opposite number Stuart Baxter, is also a former national coach and has worked with Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, praised the shot-stopper on his performance. He thwarted plenty of Sundowns' advances, keeping Chiefs in the game with his good work at the back.
“Khune showed again that he is the best in the country. I never thought he could save Alje Schut’s shot, especially when it bounced in front of him. That shows that he is the best goalkeeper.
“I’ve said it before, when Itu’s not playing, the results are different… even for South Africa. He’s on top of his game.
“We did what we could, we did our best, but our best was not good enough. We created a lot of chances in the first half.” – Sapa