Mamelodi Sundowns look to improve defense
DURBAN - MAMELODI Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has admitted that his side were defensively fragile in their thrilling 4-3 Premiership victory over AmaZulu in Pretoria on Sunday.
“It’s not nice to concede three goals after having not conceded in the last three games. All those goals were typical mistakes,” said Mngqithi.
Most would have thought that Downs had the game wrapped up by half-time.
Even though Lehlohonolo Majoro gave Usuthu the lead in the 15th minute, Themba Zwane scored a hat-rick within 11 minutes to give Masandawana a 3-1 lead at the interval.
Sundowns’ stand-in captain Ricardo Nascimento had a rare bad day as two of his defensive mistakes led to AmaZulu goals. Majoro capitalised on his poor pass to score the opener and he also gave away a penalty in the 48th minute which Luvuyo Memela scored.
“The mistake that Ricardo made in the first half for Majoro, is one of those mistakes in football that
you say, because we are a team that
builds from the back, we are bound to make such mistakes,” added Mngqithi.
Peter Shalulile struck in the 56th minute to restore Sundowns’ two goal cushion but Usuthu forward Sandile Khumalo was on target three minutes later to make the score 4-3. This created a tense final thirty minutes, but Masandawana’s experience showed as they held firm.
Though Nascimento, in particular, had a day to forget, Mngqithi backed the South American to bounce back strongly. “I am not angry because I know those things happen in football, you make such mistakes and you get punished and by the time I want to go and talk about it as a coach, I am just wasting my time because as a player you are already punishing yourself.
“It was uncharacteristic of Ricardo to make such mistakes in a game. What we have to do now is to support him and believe that he still has a chance to come back and really help us.”
Sundowns currently top the DSTV Premiership standings with 10 points after four games. They will next be in action against Stellenbosch FC tomorrow.