The Brazilians twice missed from one-on-one situations and hit the woodwork as many times but went on to record a narrow win
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says they made the 2-1 Premier Soccer League win over Chippa United “difficult than it should have been” after missing a number of good scoring opportunities at Sisa Dukashe Stadium on Monday.
A Themba Zwane penalty thrust Sundowns ahead before Chippa replied through Augustine Kwem, but Peter Shalulile grabbed the winner for the visitors with 16 minutes to go.
The result saw Masandawana opening a six-point gap at the top of the PSL table but their coach was not pleased with the manner in which they fluffed some of their opportunities.
During the match, Shalulile and Zwane were denied in one-on-one situations by Chilli Boys goalkeeper Ismael Watenga, and Sundowns also hit the woodwork twice through Shalulile again, and Lebohang Maboe, just before the winning goal.
“I think we made this game difficult than it should have been. We got too far many one against one situations,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV.
“Credit must also be given to Watenga. I think he played very well. But when you are not shrewd you end up getting a draw or losing a match like this one because, to be honest, the number of chances we created [were many].
“At a certain point at half-time, I was even worried to be honest because I have seen too many games like this where you have so many chances in the first half and then suddenly in the second half [you collapse].
“We did not have a very good start. We missed a very good opportunity on the opposite side and the opportunity to score was created on the other side.”
Mngqithi also rued his side not scoring more when they were on top, which would have provided them with an opportunity to rest players, later on, considering they have a bunch of catch-up matches to play in the league, as well as domestic cup and continental duties to manage.
“So one must say we need to be a little bit more shrewd if we really want to take this championship and not give [opponents] a chance,” he continued.
“You know after one goal it is not yet enough. Get the second then third so that we can be able to rest the team. Now we ended up having to stretch the team the whole way knowing very well that we still have another game on Thursday.
“But nonetheless, congratulations to the boys, the coaches and to everybody within the team. Chippa is never going to be easy for anyone. They have a very good team and the fact that they lost 5-1 to Maritzburg United must never fool you.
“We can do more in terms of our finishing, I don’t think we are clinical enough. The intensity was good, the passing game was good, but the finishing was not up there.”
Sundowns now prepare to take on Orlando Pirates in Thursday’s Nedbank Cup quarter-final encounter at Loftus Versfeld.