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'The wind was too much' - Mamelodi Sundowns' Mngqithi finds excuses after Stellenbosch FC draw

12:25 PM IST 05/12/21
Manqoba Mngqithi, Mamelodi Sundowns, February 2021
The experienced mentor also explained why Khuliso Mudau was substituted at half-time having conceded a penalty

Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi found an excuse after the Tshwane giants dropped points against Stellenbosch FC on Saturday night.

Masandawana fought back to hold Stellies to a 1-1 draw in a PSL match which was played at Danie Craven Stadium with Lyle Lakay's goal cancelling out Junior Mendieta's opener.

Mngqithi felt that Stellies players showed more hunger than his charges in a match which saw Masandawana trail at half-time for the first time in the league this season. 

“It was always going to be a very tough match, but I think we created better chances first half. We did not take those chances. We were playing against the wind, but I think we created better moments to win the game,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV.

“[Thabiso] Kutumela had a big chance, Grant [Kekana] unfortunately with that half-chance on the set-piece. We had some few good moments but credit must be given to them. They really ran, they really worked hard today.

“They really wanted it more. I think my boys were caught up in the mode of chasing the game in the second half. After scoring the equaliser, I think we could not gain control of the game again."

Stellies caused problems for the Masandawana defence on the counter and Mngqithi blamed the wind for his side's inability to control and dominate the game like they usually do. 

“Then, we allowed the game to be too transitional and too quick. And when it is too quick it favours them because every time you make a mistake, you know you must be ready to defend against their speed against your defence but the weather conditions also didn’t help," he continued.

“The wind was too much and it made it very difficult to play patiently. The way you would want to play, but I knew it was not going to be easy against Stellenbosch.

“Even last time we stole it here. I think we created better chances in the first half, second half we didn’t really create much but we put a lot of pressure on them which was good but in terms of chances I think [it] could’ve been stolen in the first half."

Mngqithi also went on to explain why Khuliso Mudau was substituted at half-time having conceded a penalty when he fouled Ashley du Preez and Mendieta scored from the spot-kick. 

“No, it’s because Mudau was feeling a little bit of a hamstring and we felt because of the intensity that was put in by Du Preez and [Stanley] Dimgba it was always going to come so we realised it is better for us to take him out because already he was not feeling good," he said.

“But I don’t think it’s something serious at this stage, it’s just we had to be cautious at this stage of the season when you have so many games back-to-back.

“And I think Thapelo [Morena] came in and gave a very good account of himself. We could’ve done better honestly speaking. One would say, we could’ve taken all the three points but unfortunately, it was not to be."