Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena said he was happy with the professional performance shown by his side when defeating AmaZulu FC 1-0 in their DStv Premiership encounter at Loftus Stadium on Sunday.
In a match were AmaZulu packed their defence and looked to be playing for a draw, Sundowns were able to get the three points thanks to a late winner by Marcelo Allende.
The star for AmaZulu was goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, who produced a great performance in goal to keep the score respectable.
In an interview carried by the Sundowns official website, coach Mokwena explained how they dealt with AmaZulu’s defensive tactics.
“We just tried to unlock the bus, their line of five wasn’t moving at all, so we just tried to find the half spaces, when you play so far from the goal it becomes difficult to create. We kept the stove hot as they say, we won a lot of second balls, we got ourselves into the right positions especially in the second half,” Mokwena said.
“AmaZulu surprised us today, normally they’ve got a 4-3-3 with a three-man midfield, today there was a tactical surprise that caught us a little bit off guard, but we are prepared for this now.
“Every match now is against a reinforced defensive block, against teams that park the bus, and we have the responsibility to be the ones that initiate and play on the front foot.”
Prior to the match, Sundowns did not have any mid-week games and that extra-time to prepare for Sunday’s game was used well by the team, according to Mokwena.
“I’ve never seen Sundowns train the way they trained this week, ever since I got here, they were unbelievable. I told them that any of the players could feel that today’s line-up was unfair.
“Any one of them could have started – they were sharp, they were running, they were intensive & competitive,” Mokwena added.
“We are a good team with very very good players. We’ve got an honest group of players and that’s one of the things that makes you as a coach makes you happy to work with this group – they give their best every time.”
Next up for Sundowns is the first-leg of the MTN8 semi-final clash against Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium on 1 October.