Masandawana’s success in the current campaign has been built on the back of a watertight defence, up front there seems room for improvement
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has not for the first time this season stressed the need for his side to be more clinical in front of goal.
Mngqithi was speaking after his team beat Sudan champions Al-Hilal Omdurman 2-0 in a Caf Champions League Group B encounter at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday evening.
Centre-back Mosa Lebusa opened the scoring in the 10th minute before Kermit Erasmus secured the win with a 90th-minute goal.
But with the score at 1-0 for most of the game, there had always been the chance for the visitors to equalise.
And even if Al-Hilal do not carry the same attacking threat as some of the other African giants in the Champions League, there was always the chance they could have sneaked a goal from a set-play, which is why Mngqithi was not entirely happy with his side’s performance, despite the victory.
“It is a very sensitive area because not many people will respect clubs like Al-Hilal and we are the people who are in the group stages and we know what they are capable of, they can beat you at any stage, more especially with set-plays,” Mngqithi was quoted saying by the Citizen.
Masandawana lead the domestic league standings by two points over SuperSport United. They’ve scored 24 goals in 15 league matches, two less than SuperSport and three less than the PSL’s highest scorers, Cape Town City (both of those sides have played a match more).
Sundowns’ defensive record is the best in the league with just seven goals conceded in 15 games.
Mngqithi certainly feels they can do better in the goalscoring department and has highlighted this already on several occasions this season.
“We are complaining about the players not being shrewd enough and the people who are supposed to score these chances are the ones who unfortunately did not take them,” said the former Golden Arrows coach.
“If we look at even the game we played against Chippa United, we scored two goals but we could have easily scored eight to 10 goals. The game against Stellenbosch became a humdinger in the end but we could have easily scored four more goals but we have not been clinical,” Mngqithi lamented.
“Our goal ratio is not bad but if we look at the expected goals, we always look like a team that can score many goals but unfortunately we don’t take the chances the way we should and we don’t want to put stress and anxiety on the player because the more you demand the more you put them under tremendous pressure and they end up not giving you what you want.”
Also in Group B with Sundowns are TP Mazembe and CF Belouizdad, who played to a goalless stalemate in their opening game to leave Downs top of the group.