'Players must learn to manage the game'

Thoka fumes as Baroka waste 2-0 lead at Galaxy

Neville Khoza Journalist
Matsemela Thoka coach of Baroka FC.
Matsemela Thoka coach of Baroka FC.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Baroka FC coach Matsemela Thoka was lost for words after his side conceded late to see their two-goal lead evaporate in a thrilling 2-2 draw against TS Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday.

Bakgaga went to a 2-0 lead in the second half with goals from Ananias Gebhardt and Gerald Phiri and looked to be coasting to victory, but Galaxy had other ideas as they responded from Shaun Mogaila and Mxolisi Macuphu late in the match.

This left Thoka fuming and urging his side to learn to manage the game when they have that kind of a lead in the future.

“It is very disappointing on our side, but it is football, and we are learning in a hard way,” Thoka told Sowetan yesterday.

“Imagine we were leading 2-0, and we ended up giving away those two goals, and they equalised. It is all about managing the game. Sometimes footballers must understand to manage the game.

“We are leading 2-0, and we need to manage the game. You can’t play the same way while you have that kind of a lead, playing as if you need another goal while we have something in our hands.

“This must be different, but we have youngsters who are learning.

“For us, we take what happened and move on. We now think about the upcoming game because you can’t cry about what happened. There is life after that, so we need to move on and think about the next match on Saturday against Mamelodi Sundowns.”

Baroka will hope for an improved performance against Sundowns, who progressed to the CAF Champions League group stages on Tuesday following their 5-1 aggregate win over Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana.

“We cannot say we are scared because we are in the same league, and if you say we are scared, then you are also scared to play against Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs as well,” Thoka said.

“Who do we want to play because all the teams are in the same league? We need to prepare ourselves for any team. Sundowns is one of those teams we are playing against on Saturday. They are the defending champions, and they are a quality side, and they are unbeaten. We need to prepare ourselves and do the right things.”

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