CAPE TOWN – Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has warned his team to remain humble as they close in on a record 400th victory in the DStv Premiership.
Following their 3-0 humiliation of Orlando Pirates on Sunday, Sundowns achieved their 399th league win. The Brazilians will look to rewrite the history books when they face Maritzburg United on Wednesday.
Mngqithi was, though, not happy with his team’s showboating during the victory over the Buccaneers as it did not represent the type of sportsmanship he is renowned for.
“When we win we must always win with a lot of humility,” Mngqithi said. “I was not happy with the sounds the players were making when we were keeping possession. That is a sign of arrogance and personally I am someone who doesn’t like people that are arrogant.
“We are playing against a very respectable brand and a team that really plays well. They have not lost too many matches. And it’s not by chance and now when you happen to beat them don’t think now you must embarrass and make them to look like they are amateurish.”
Mngqithi went further by stating that the eventual scoreline was actually not a fair reflection of the contest.
“It was not a game that you could suggest we could win three-nil, it was a close game as anything could have happened”, he said.
“We did not anticipate the three centre backs, with five across and two wing backs. But when we figured that out we managed to manoeuvre our structure a little bit. I must say that the game was very tight in the first half, we did tell the players that they must just keep moving the ball, pass as much as they can as you know it can affect the legs as we have been travelling a lot.”
The scoreline was certainly still deadlocked at 0-0 at halftime with both teams yet to create the opening goal. It was only after the introduction of Gift Motupa for the injured Kermit Erasmus at the interval that Sundowns were able to create more scoring opportunities.
“In the second half we started off a little bit shaky but once we recollected ourselves and started using our half spaces better with Lebo [Maboe] and Pitso [Mkhulise] with Mshishi [Zwane] playing more as a ten.
“We started getting routes into their half and I must say Gift played a significant role in making sure we have depth and pinning the centre back at the right time,” added Mngqithi.
Sundowns regained the top spot on the Dstv Premiership log after briefly surrendering it to AmaZulu on Saturday and now need a maximum of 12 points from a possible 18 points to defend their Dstv Premiership title.