Mamelodi Sundowns recently booked their place in the knockout round of the 2017 Caf Champions League following victory against Ethiopian side Kedus Giorgis.
The defending champions were made to sweat on the day, and if it wasn’t for Denis Onyango’s penalty heroics on the stroke of half time, things could have been very different.
Nevertheless, Anthony Laffor’s quality once again shined through as his late strike downed St George, and Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes that it was his side’s experience which saw them secure the three points in Addis Ababa.
“It’s experience,” Mosimane told The Star.
“We are fortunate to have players who are with the national teams and are always playing in these sort of situations on the continent.
“As a team we have a little bit of experience too because it is not the first time we are in the Champions League.
“If you look at the statistics, I think we had about 80 percent of the ball possession,” he explained.
Despite the win, Mosimane admitted that Sundowns underestimated their opponents due to their lack of experience in the tournament.
“The tempo was very slow. We were dominant, casual, enjoying ourselves, but we forgot to score,” Mosimane said.
“The players know that we undermined Saint George because they had never been in the group stages of the Champions League before.
“But it was a lesson for us. I also think we were trying to balance our schedule. We were playing back-to-back and still had two domestic games to play and were trying to win the league. So, the team we used then is different to the team we used now. There were eight players missing through injury,” Mosimane added.
Meanwhile, the 52-year-old lauded the incredible atmosphere at the Addis Ababa Stadium.
“Did you see my players? They were tourists, just admiring,” the coach said.
“I wish we could have this at home and I promise you my players would be very different if they got these sort of crowds for their games,” Mosimane concluded.