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Maduka praises Royal players for their fighting spirit

'We believe we can’t lose until the last whistle'

Neville Khoza Journalist
Lantshene Phalane of Royal AM challenges Thamsanqa Gabuza of Supersport United.
Lantshene Phalane of Royal AM challenges Thamsanqa Gabuza of Supersport United.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Royal AM coach John Maduka hailed his side's never say die attitude after they came from behind to win 2-1 against SuperSport United in the DStv Premiership match at Chatsworth Stadium on Tuesday.

It is not the first time that Royal showed the same fighting spirit. They have won games while they were in a losing or draw position towards the end.

It was a case when they beat Maritzburg United 2-1 last month before coming from a 0-2 down to force a draw against Marumo Gallants.

Against SuperSport, they were also 0-1 down, but their never-say-die attitude propelled them to another victory as they scored twice in injury time through Zukile Mkhize and Menzi Masuku.

“We are a team that believes we can’t lose the game until the last whistle,” Maduka told the club media department.

“We kept on pushing until we got the equaliser and the second goal – that’s the fighting spirit we have in the team.”

Despite the character they showed in the end, Maduka was not entirely pleased with his boys' performance, especially in the first half.

“First half we could not even create any chances. It was not us. We intended to play like them whereby we tried to play more long balls, which is not our game,” he said.

“We were not patient enough and waited for the right moment to be able to punish them, but in the second half, after we spoke, we showed an improved performance. 

“After introducing attacking players like Ndumiso Mabena and Masuku, we managed to take the game away from them and created a couple of chances.

“First half was bad. We didn't play the way we wanted, but in the second half, we improved.”

Meanwhile, SuperSport coach Kaitano Tembo took a swipe at defender Luke Fleurs, describing his red card as stupid as that changed their approach.

“I think we had a very good start. We put them under a lot of pressure and we had opportunities. We were on the offensive from the beginning and I think we had two or three chances that we didn’t take,” Tembo said.

“But I think the game changed when Fleurs got booked for something I think was a bit stupid thing to do, I mean throwing a ball away knowing that you are on a yellow card.

“For me, that’s a moment which turned everything very disappointing.”

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