Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the PSG claim from Pitso Mosimane was not very important and the loss to Petro De Luanda was not due to pressure.
Mosimane stated after losing home and away in Group A to Sundowns in March that they would now be expected to win the CAF Champions League after doing the double of the record ten-time winners.
The Red Devils boss claimed that winning the Group wouldn’t mean much if they get knocked out in the quarter-final but Mngqithi downplayed the weight of expectation as a factor in their 3-2 aggregate pdefeat in the last-eight stage against the 15-time Girabola champions.
“I would not think so, as I say, we did what we had to do today, unfortunately, we did not get the ball into the net and as to what other people said out there, it’s not very important to me, what is more important is to say; we planned, we profiled to the opposition, we looked at their strengths and weaknesses,” Per iDiski Times
“The challenges that they posed to us when we were in Angola and I think we dealt with their wing play very well – the whole first half they never created a chance. Today I think we managed their strengths very well, there is an element of pride to say my players really responded in the space because those are the areas we were worried about.
“And even how they scored, we slipped in one big moment when the keeper is throwing the ball and from there it’s an opportunity and for me, that was very bad. It was a lapse of concentration but I don’t really blame the players that much, I think we did a whole lot of good things in this match – but in football, you win some you lose some.”
Mngqithi admits the defeat is hard to swallow given the fact that they were vocal about wanting to challenge for the title this season despite having a treble still on the cards with the MTN8 wrapped up, the DStv Premiership all but mathematically secured and the Nedbank Cup – where they will face Royal AM in the semi-finals.
“It’s hurting too much, I don’t want to lie. What is very unfortunate is I still believe our team was a better team on the day, but that doesn’t count when you did not put balls into the net,” he continued.
“In the Champions League, unlike the PSL – if you make one or two stupid mistakes, you can be punished. The goals we conceded that side [in Angola] were all very bad goals from crosses.
“So it hurts because you know that your team is better than what it delivered, especially in the first leg. Probably 70% of the team didn’t perform to their full potential but today I wouldn’t falter many,
I would say we didn’t take our chances, and we got punished.”
Masandawana return to league action on Wednesday evening at Loftus Versveld against Champions League-chasing Cape Town City, who are unbeaten in the league in 2022.