TS Galaxy gaffe allowed Mamelodi Sundowns artillery to fire on all cylinders, says Owen da Gama
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CAPE TOWN - After TS Galaxy went toe-to-toe with champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the first half, a tactical blunder at the start of the second half allowed Mamelodi Sundowns' attacking artillery to blow them away in their DStv Premiership clash in Pretoria over the weekend.
The Galaxy brains trust of coach Owen da Gama and Shaun Bartlett (assistant) would have been proud with the goalless stalemate at the end of the first half because Sundowns fielded a formidable team. There was nothing to suggest that Sundowns would emerge eventual 3-0 victors.
As it turned out, Sundowns' first-half display was average, and by that time, Galaxy would have been dreaming of at least sharing the spoils with the defending champions.
Alas, it all went pear-shaped when Galaxy decided on a tactical change which backfired. A delightful first half became a second-half slog after Sundowns capitalised with three unanswered goals.
"We made a tactical blunder," said Da Gama. "Instead of bringing in a proper rightwing, we allowed (Mxolisi) Machuphu to go and play on the right, and that's where I think things fell apart.
"It is all part of the learning curve. It's work in motion, and we're building.
"I'm hundred per cent certain that if we play the way we played in the first half, I think things could turn out very well for us."
One of Sundowns' scorers was Peter Shalulile, who used to play under Da Gama during the days of Highlands Park. Since his move to Sundowns, Shalulile has grown in stature and ranks among the leading strikers in Africa.
"Well, he's a good player he's done very, very well," said Da Gama.
"It's not only Shalulile because Sundowns are a superb team. There's no doubt about it.
"They can field any 11 players and they'll give any team a good run for its money.
"This is what we were up against. We can only learn from this type of situation. Hopefully, one or two players will grow from this defeat."
Next Sunday, Galaxy will be back in the fray, hoping to chalk up their maiden Premiership win this season. They are away at Chatsworth Stadium against Premiership upstarts Royal AM who surprised friend and foe alike by handing Kaizer Chiefs a 4-0 hiding in their own backyard over the weekend.