Despite being in the National First Division (NFD), the Cape Town-based outfit were certainly not intimidated by their star-studded opponents, and put on a valiant showing, before Percy Tau eventually came up with the killer blow on the hour mark, breaking All Stars’ hearts.
While Sundowns were made to work for the victory, it was nothing less than they deserved, and following the encounter, assistant coach Manqoba Mngqithi admitted that All Stars made things difficult, but he was ultimately satisfied with the victory.
“We played against a very good team,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV after the game.
“If we came here with emotions and rushed, we were going to be punished. So, it was always important to manage the game, drag it a little bit longer," he said.
“We knew their legs would tire, keep possession of the ball which in many instances we lost cheaply. Honestly speaking, credit must go to their coach. They have assembled a very good team," he continued.
“The football they play is structurally very correct. But I believe we gave them too much space in the first half, but all we wanted to do was to win and that’s what we managed to do,” he added.
Mngqithi who was speaking in the absence of suspended head coach Pitso Mosimane further lauded his substitutes. The former Golden Arrows coach especially singled out South American Gaston Sirino who came off the bench and immediately made an impact as he assisted Tau for the goal.
“We are happy with the players we brought in. Gaston showed his class, unfortunate not to score in a one-on-one situation. Sekotlong came in and created good space for Percy which he should have buried,” he said.
However, Sundowns were guilty of missing several clear-cut chances in front of goal, and Mngqithi admits that they will need to improve in front of goal.
“Lebese came on late and did well. The rest managed the game well, but in converting the chances we created we didn’t do well,” he explained.
“That’s the one area I’m not excited about because we got some clear-cut chances in the first half from Themba Zwane and Percy.Those were clear-cut chances that we should have buried,” he concluded.