Caf Champions League: Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mngqithi unhappy with wasted chances despite win over Al Merrikh
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi was unimpressed with his side, especially in the first half, despite beating Al Merrikh 3-0 on Saturday in a League Group A game CAF champions.
George ‘Mido’ Maluleka and Bradley Ralani scored to give Masandawana a two-goal lead against the Sudanese side before Kermit Erasmus came off the bench to seal victory for the Tshwane giants, who recorded their fifth win in six games of Group A.
However, the technical bench were unimpressed with wasted chances, especially in the first 45 minutes.
“First half I wasn’t very happy, I don’t want to lie, we had too much possession but we weren’t incisive enough,” Mngqithi said in a post-match statement.
“We weren’t looking for possibilities to create more goalscoring opportunities, we fought with [Aubrey] Modiba, had a big fight with Neo [Maema], [Lesedi] Kapinga too, and Haashim [Domingo]they played too many back passes, even when they found themselves in very good offensive positions.
“But they just seemed happy with the number of passes they would have in the game without looking at the quality in terms of the number of chances created, shots on goal, entries into the box, and all because it’s very important to us.
“And when we looked at the stats at half-time, we were five kilometers below what we normally give. We were very unhappy with that because we would have liked a more incisive performance, with a lot of shots at the goal, a mentality to win the match, and also a mentality to play good attacking football when needed.
“Because there was no reason and we didn’t need to start focusing on possession when the score was still 1-0 because anything could have happened.”
However, that changed for Masandawana after the break, and they scored two more goals which gave them a comfortable win. The win also saw them finish the group with 16 points, a Champions League record.
“The second half was much better, more incisive, more willing to break lines, more willing to look for the ball behind the defence, instead of always looking at the feet. And that was encouraging,” Mngqithi continued. .
“In some cases we were too anxious, there were many attacks where we did very well, from the construction phase to the consolidation phase, but when we entered the attacking third we lost possession too easily.
“Because maybe a touch, sometimes we rush too much, but it was a much better performance in the second half. No wonder we managed to score the goal.”
Currently, defending champions Al Ahly are second with seven points and on Sunday they host Al-Hilal Omdurman, needing only a draw to confirm their place in the last eight.