FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi. Photo: Dirk Kotze/BackpagePix
FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi. Photo: Dirk Kotze/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach on Al Ahly defeat: This was only the first half

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published May 16, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi believes his team were "the better team football wise" despite losing to 2-0 to Al Ahly in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in Cairo on Saturday evening.

The South African champions dominated possession for long periods and created a couple of chances to score the all-important away goal, but unfortunately did not utilise their opportunities.

Against a quality team like Al Ahly it would prove suicidal as the Red Devils hit back through a wonderful strike from Mohamed Taher before a calamitous mistake from Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango gifted Salah Mohsen the opportunity for a tap in during the closing stages to allow Pitso Mosimane's team to take a 2-0 lead into the second leg in South Africa next Saturday.

"Like I expected it was always going to be a tactical game but I believe we played very well. We were just unfortunate not to score I have never seen a team come to AL Ahly come to Egypt and dominate possession," Mngqithi said.

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"To see Al Ahly play a counter attacking game at home was very interesting to me. We started the game very well. We kept the ball very well. We played very good in the half spaces and forced them on to their back foot. I believe we were the better team football wise but we lost the match."

Mngqithi believes Sundowns can still overturn the deficit at the Lucas Moripe Stadium but knows the task would have been much easier were it not the late goal conceded and the fact they could not sneak an away goal to take with them home.

"Unfortunately we did not take the chances that we got. We hit the upright and we also missed another header from a corner kick. The second half was good. In fact, we were very good. But surprisingly when we played even better in the second half we did not create many chances like we did in the first half.

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"But this was the first half. The second half is in Johannesburg. I think the altitude and the fact that we are playing at home will give us an advantage. We are a team capable of scoring lots of goals. The only setback is that we conceded two," he added.

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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