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Mokwena gracious in Sundowns’ defeat

‘The players gave everything they have’

Neville Khoza Journalist
Cheick Oumar Fofana of TP Mazembe challenges Khuliso Mudau of Mamelodi Sundowns during the CAF Champions League match on Saturday
Cheick Oumar Fofana of TP Mazembe challenges Khuliso Mudau of Mamelodi Sundowns during the CAF Champions League match on Saturday
Image: OpCrea/©BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena expressed disappointment at the missed opportunity after their 1-0 defeat to TP Mazembe in their second CAF Champions League group phase match at Stade TP Mazembe on Saturday.

The loss was their first in the Champions League in 19 months, as Glody Likonza’s header on the hour mark handed Mazembe the win in group A.

Sundowns created a lot of chances and were unfortunate to hit the woodwork three times during the match.

“Of course we are not happy to lose the match, especially if you look at the number of chances that we created,” Mokwena told the media after the match.

“I remember we hit the upright three times and the type of goal we conceded is a little bit difficult to stomach. There was a good save also in the second half when Peter Shalulile went one on one with the goalkeeper and he made a very good save with his feet.

“But at the end of the day, what matters most is results, so with a lot of graciousness and humility, we accept the defeat and congratulate our opponents for winning.”

Sundowns came into the match with their confidence high after winning the African Football League title last month and also in impressive form in the DStv Premiership.

Mokwena also insists that he was not caught off guard by the outcome as he is aware that in football, you win, draw, or lose.

“No results surprise me in football because when you start the match, you either win, lose or draw. And today [Saturday], we lost the game, though I think the team with the better chances lost the match,' he said.

“I still have to watch the game. That’s why I can’t speak too much and say maybe the better team because I have not watched the game yet. But I know I can vividly remember in my mind that we had so many chances and we should have scored, so no results surprise me.

“I love my players. I love them more than I did before the match. They have already proved that they are the best on the continent and when they lose, we do it together.

“And the responsibility lies on the shoulder of the coach. The players gave everything that they have and I’m proud of their efforts.”

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