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Football | Absa Premiership

Pitso rues wasted opportunities



Having seen his side create a host of opportunities in their Premiership clash against Golden Arrows in Pretoria on Tuesday evening, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was critical of his side's failure to win their home fixture.

"We dominated and we did what we were supposed to do," Mosimane said following the game.

"I believe we could have taken the game in the first half because we had enough chances. We had so much possession, we should have scored from one of the many chances that we had."

The teams were forced to share the spoils after they played to an entertaining 1-1 draw. Thamsanqa Gabuza handed the visitors the advantage late in the first half, but had his side's opener cancelled out by Mzivukile Tom, who scored an own goal, five minutes later.

A Man-of-the-match performance form Arrows' goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede allowed the visitors to stay in the game, after Sundowns enjoyed much of the possession, resulting in a plethora of chances to take the lead.

"The whole story tells if the goalkeeper wins the man-of-the-match award," Mosimane explained.

"Credit to Arrows, they did very well. It was a very, very different performance from what we saw against AmaZulu (their previous league outing which ended in a 1-0 victory for AmaZulu).

He praised their coach for fixing some of their errors and said the goalkeeper had played well.

Mosimane said while he was pleased with his side's performance in the first half, they had failed to close out the game when they could have done so.

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"Once you wait for the second half, you are too late. Arrows changed their game plan and what a good performance it was from them.

"But we did everything, really, what else could we do? We threw everything at them and we just couldn't get that second goal."

Arrows boss Manqoba Mngqithi praised his goalkeeper for his superb performance against what he considered a very strong Sundowns outfit, capable of threatening from anywhere on the pitch.

"We must give credit to our young goalkeeper," Mngqithi said.

"He kept us in the game. There were some very good shots taken by Sundowns after some very good combinations and fortunately he was always there to deal with those situations."

Having included Gumede in his starting line-up, ahead of first choice goalkeeper Pavels Steinbors, the shot-stopper had put himself in contention for a permanent spot between the goal posts.

"I've looked at the youngster who was doing well and I am happy with what he has done," Mngqithi said.

"Obviously if he performs this way, there is no reason for any coach to change the goalkeeper for the next match."

Shifting his attention to the opposition, Mngqithi praised the former Bafana Bafana mentor for the way in which he had been able to get Sundowns back to their potential, believing that full credit had to go to Mosimane.

"At times we don't want to give credit to our own countrymen. The revival of Sundowns, honestly, Pitso has to take the credit for that," Mngqithi said.

"This team is playing good football. If you were to ask me before the match whether I would take a point and go home, I would say, 'thank you very much.'

"Everybody saw the way Sundowns played against Maritzburg (Sundowns' previous league match which they won 3-0) and they are playing good football. It's not football that you expect to just win and nobody enjoys it."

In Tuesday's only other fixture, Bloemfontein Celtic were held to a 2-2 draw by struggling Ajax Cape Town at the Athlone Stadium.

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