After a tough home encounter against their opponents from Limpopo, the Brazilians coach acknowledged had to work for the three points
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has admitted that his side did not have things all their own way against Baroka FC at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Limpopo team created the better chances in the opening half and could have been in front if they had been more clinical.
It took two goals in five minutes midway through the second half, by Gaston Sirino and Peter Shalulile, to earn the 2-0 win. Even after that, Baroka had some good chances and it was to Sundowns’ credit that they ground out victory against a team which played well on the day.
“Our boys tried to adapt to the challenges they were facing,” Mngqithi stated in his post-match interview with SuperSport TV.
“There were some scary moments in the first half where we did not break the press, [Thamsanqa] Masiya found the space behind the [Sundowns] defence and we could see that the ball was not covered on their right centre-back, [Bonginkosi] Makume (who provided a flick on), and unfortunately [Masiya] missed (with a lobbed effort).
“But it was a very good chance from a situation – from some of the technical aspects we had put in place where we say we must be aware of these moments, they can always punish us with a second ball,” said Mngqithi, in reference to the route-one approach which Bakgaga took at times.
“They can always punish us with wingers who are playing out of the wing and looking to take the space between the full-back and the centre-back,” Mngqithi added.
“But overall I think the boys worked really hard. We wanted this result, we wanted to start the second half of the season on a high note.”
Kermit Erasmus had proved to be the game-changer for Masandawana – after replacing Mothobi Mvala early in the second half, he had a hand in both of Sundowns’ goals.
“One must commend the substitutes we brought in,” Mngqithi elaborated. “I think Kermit influenced the game. We knew what we wanted, we wanted somebody who would give us a point of reference.
“Somebody who gives us depth to be able to establish play, and that is why we managed to create the chances that we created. Kermit gave a very good account of himself and I was happy for Peter to be able to score again.
“He’s working very hard for us, at times the goals can just allude him, but today he gave a very good account of himself. I’m also happy that we kept a clean sheet and the two goals, it could have been better, but it’s still work in progress.”