We didn't expect Cape Town City to come at Sundowns, admits Mngqithi

Masandawana's assistant coach admits that his side needed to work for the three points against the Citizens on Friday night

Mamelodi Sundowns finally overcame their Cape Town City hoodoo as they left the Athlone Stadium with all three points in the bag, thanks to Khama Billiat’s second half strike.

The win was Masandawana’s first over the Cape Town-based outfit, but while Sundowns put on an impressive display of percentage football, much of the game was marred by controversial refereeing decisions.

Referee Victor Gomes was once again in the spotlight as Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was sent to the stands to join his opposite number Benni McCarthy early in the first half, before eventually sending off City captain Robyn Johannes for a second bookable offence just before the end.

Nonetheless, following the encounter, assistant coach Manqoba Mngqithi admitted that Sundowns were surprised at how the home side took the fight to the Tshwane giants.  

“I think it was a very good match,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV after the game.

“We never anticipated that Cape Town City would be so emotional and come at us," he continued.

“That had an effect on how we started because we had to adjust and solidify our midfield, but it was unfortunate to lose the coach in the first half because to be honest I don’t think there was any reason for that, but we accept the decisions of the referee because it was a foul on our player and we complained about that," he added.

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“But City gave us a run for our money. It’s a relief for us because we wanted to at least beat them once and I’m sure our supporters are happy,” he added.

Meanwhile, in response to being asked about the referee’s decision to send off Mosimane, the former Golden Arrows head coach believed that 53-year-old did nothing wrong, describing the referee as being ‘emotional’.

“I was close to the coach. He was complaining about the foul, and I was very close and I never heard insulting words. I think the referee was very emotional but it’s not my space to talk about that,” he concluded.