We gave Sundowns too much respect‚ says EC Bees coach

EC Bees bench celebrates during the 2018 Nedbank Cup Last 16 match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria on 13 March 2018.
EC Bees bench celebrates during the 2018 Nedbank Cup Last 16 match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria on 13 March 2018.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

EC Bees coach Vuyisile Njedu says the valuable experience of playing in the Nedbank Cup will come in handy for the Eastern Cape minnows when they resume their programme in the ABC Motsepe League.

The Bees stung Mariveni United 3-1 in the previous round but their hopes of becoming only the third amateur team to progress to the quarter-finals were dashed when they lost 2-1 to Mamelodi Sunowns at Loftus on Tuesday night.

The Eastern Cape side was certainly not disgraced against the more illustrious Sundowns as they took the lead in the first half through Joseoh Chikila only to be outdone by second half strikes from Brazilians' skipper Hlompho Kekana and defender Thapelo Morena.

In the closing stages of their exciting match‚ the visitors kept on pushing their more fancied opponents but could not beat Kennedy Mweene and force the encounter to extra-time.

“Our run in this tournament will definitely help us a lot when we go back to the bread and butter issues of the league.

"The experience will put the players in good stead because they will be highly motivated knowing that they have played admirably in the highest level in South Africa.

"Personally as a coach‚ I have learned a lot from playing against the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and we will use the experience to our benefit in the remaining matches of the season in our league‚” said Njedu after the loss to Sundowns.

“In as much as we did not play an expensive brand of football against Sundowns‚ I think we did well in the first half where we managed to get one goal.

"In the second half we gave too much respect to Sundowns and ultimately proved to be our downfall.

"Two minutes after the break‚ we gave them a soft goal and it happened again after 75 minutes and we failed to come back‚” added Njedu‚ who also praised his goalkeeper Khanya Mini after he pulled some brilliant saves throughout the match.

“He did very well because his saves kept us in the game and he comes out of his tournament with confidence.”

Bees are currently third on the log with 40 points from 20 matches but their mission of qualifying for the play-offs is remote because log leaders Tornado FC have 61 points from 22 games while second placed PE Stars have 46 points also from 22 matches.

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