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Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane welcomes point against Orlando Pirates

5:51 AM MYT 02/04/2019
Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns , April 01 2019
The two coaches have shared their thoughts following an action packed stalemate at Orlando Stadium on Monday night

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has welcomed the point against Orlando Pirates following their goalless Premier Soccer League (PSL) draw at Orlando Stadium on Monday night.

The Brazilians mentor was in full praise of his midfielder Tiyani Mabunda whom he says had a fantastic game to stop the Buccaneers from opening up his defence and closing the gap at the top of the league standings. 

“Yeah, congratulations to Shuga (Mabunda), he played a very, very important role as we explained to him because if you play Pirates they have two number 10’s and a nine and that’s how they score their goal,” Mosimane told SuperSport TV.

“Because there are two number 10s, they have (Thembinkosi) Lorch who comes inside and whatever, they come inside and he played a fantastic role, fantastic,” he reacted.

“It came out as expected, we pressed from the top to make sure they don’t play, but they are a brilliant team. They can move the ball, but we have to manage the game well – it’s okay,” said the Brazilians mentor.

Meanwhile, the draw leaves the reigning PSL champions at the summit with 43 points and the Soweto giants sit second. 

“I think it’s a true reflection of the game and we can take a point. For me, it is to move this game away. It’s gone and I can focus on the rest that is behind,” said ‘Jingles’.

“We have Chippa (United), (Black) Leopards, Baroka and SuperSport United and I needed to focus on this game, it was a thorn in the flesh just like the game against Maritzburg United before the Caf Champions League (match against Wydad Casablanca),” he said.

With the Brazilians set to host Egyptian giants Al Ahly on Saturday in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Mosimane says they will have time to recover.

“At least we have three and half days to recover before the biggest game on Saturday. But I give credit to the boys, they played two Champions League tournaments in one PSL season, imagine if we were playing in the Nedbank Cup, what would have happened to us? So you cannot play for Sundowns and you play like and you don’t live the right type of life,” warned the manager.

“Your social life has to be proper, these boys are soldiers, they played football the proper way and that is why it’s not easy when your social life is not fitting in with the club, you will always struggle,” he concluded.

On the other hand, Mosimane’s counterpart, Milutin Sredojevic says it was not easy to penetrate the visiting defence, but says his men tried all they could to claim the full three points.

“It was a tough competitive game that had everything, it was an action-packed thriller from start to the end and we have shown that we wanted to win,” Sredojevic explained.

“They wanted to take us on counter attacks. Despite that, we created chances and the only ingredient that was missing in this match was the last touch, it was an unfortunate situation where Wayne Sandilands went out and denied us one chance to attack as we wanted to put in Thabo Qalinge. We used (Kudakwashe) Mahachi and (Thamsanqa) Gabuza to attack,” he added.

“But the only factor that was missing today was to put the ball in the net, anyhow, I believe with this we have shown to ourselves that we can play and outplay, but not outscore our opponent and at least outplaying them will be a morale booster in the remaining six matches to fight for points,” he praised.

“It’s not easy to play against an experienced, very good coached team like Mamelodi Sundowns and I believe we have tactically answered to everything that was thrown on the field of play,” noted the Serbian.

“It was not easy to play against a reinforced defence that plays without an out and out striker, practically they have deployed attacking midfielders and usually full-backs Thapelo Morena and Lyle (Lakay) on the opposite half to double their sides,” reflected the Buccaneers coach.

“Knowing that, by putting Gabuza we wanted to attack the side and their intention was to limit our attacks and attack us on counter attacks, and in those limited chances we had, I believe we managed to have been much closer to the win,” concluded ‘Micho’.