JOHANNESBURG – An angry Pitso Mosimane lashed out at his Mamelodi Sundowns players for failing to seize the opportunity and start their campaign in the group stage of the Caf Champions League with a win.
The Brazilians dropped two points by being held to a 1-1 draw by the reigning African champions Wydad Casablanca on Saturday night at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Guinea minnows Horoya lead Group C having beaten AS Togo-Port 2-1 in Togo.
Sundowns and Casablanca, who are expected to finish in the top two of this group, have a point apiece, with the Togolese side rooted at the bottom after the first round of matches.
“First, it is important to give respect to our guests,” Mosimane said. “I think that they did their best to get a point. They did everything to get a point.
“But to answer your question directly (on whether this was a point gained or two points lost), honestly speaking, I am very disappointed with the result. I am not disappointed with the game.
“I am disappointed with the result because there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have won this game. Definitely, no reason not to win this season. I respect the opponents, but we should have won this game.”
But what exactly disappointed Mosimane this much? “Over-elaboration, so many passes,” he said.
“Okay, that’s our style of play and we know that they can’t match us in that regard. But I am disappointed because I know what will happen in Morocco.
“They will put pressure on us and they will stress the referee. They will do everything (to win). That’s what makes me disappointed. We should have killed this match.
“We made a very, very crucial mistake. Without that mistake, how were they going to score? They weren’t there.
“I am not disrespecting them, but which chances did they create?
“If you look after the set-pieces and the diagonal balls to (Ismail El) Haddad and (Mohammed) Ounnajem, because they are fast, then you have limited their chances to score. We managed to deal well with that.”
Mosimane continued: “We had good interplay and we know that when we do that well, anyone – whether it’s Zamalek of Esperance – they will struggle.
“That’s what makes me disappointed because we had an opportunity to win this game and we should have seized that opportunity.
“We can’t say that, ‘oh, we got a point from the champions of Africa’. What about the champions of Africa? The game is on the pitch. Win this game!
“We should have won this game. There’s no excuse for not winning this game. Not to say that I am disrespecting Wydad.
“Their coach (Faouzi Benzarti) is a big coach.
“But Sundowns must seize the opportunity. This is the Champions League, you must seize the opportunity.”