It hasn’t been a pleasant last few days for Mamelodi Sundowns.
After going down 2-1 to Congolese club Otoho d’Oyo in the African Champions League on Sunday, Masandawana had to travel all the way to Port Elizabeth to take on Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Premiership champions had to be content with a 1-1 draw against the Chilli Boys, but coach Pitso Mosimane didn’t look for excuses such as the travel for the result.
In fact, the former Bafana mentor felt that he was the reason why Sundowns conceded a late equaliser, where Meshack Maphangule’s effort deflected off Motjeka Madisha to beat Denis Onyango.
That stoppage-time equaliser cancelled out the first-half goal by Lebohang Maboe, although the reality was that Sundowns were unable to convert numerous chances.
The worst miss of the night was from Sibusiso Vilakazi, who somehow managed to boot the ball over the crossbar in a one-on-one situation with Chippa goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb just before the hour mark.
“We did the Sundowns thing of making so many chances and not sealing it. I think if Vila took the chance, it’s buried, it’s done. We can talk about the ifs, or the could-haves, should-haves… it’s not what it’s supposed to be,” Mosimane told SuperSport after the match.
“We lost the two points, to be honest. I blame myself a little bit. I should have sealed it, should’ve wrapped it (up).
“My last sub (replacing Maboe with Phakamani Mahlambi instead of a defender), last three minutes – we could have used the Champions League experience and sealed it.
“It’s a lesson we get in football, where sometimes it looks okay. We discussed it, and I said ‘Look, I don’t see any challenge’.
“But then what happened is we started to concede a lot of corner kicks.
“That was the challenge. Then we lost Sammy Seabi with his height. And then I made a mistake by putting on Phaka for Lebo for the last two.
“Maybe I should have put on Bangaly to seal it. Ja, it’s my fault.”
Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen, though, praised his team for their fighting spirit.
“I don’t think we were that good in the first half, honestly. There was no pressure on the ball, after we had worked on it the entire week,” he told SuperSport.
“How Vilakazi wasn’t marked, I don’t know. But I knew if we get half a chance, we will bury it.
“I’m just happy that the boys never gave up. We took risks and put a lot of pressure on their defence. So, very happy with the performance, especially in the second half.”@ashfakmohamed