Brave ap­proach praised by coach

NO JOY THROUGH THE MID­DLE FOR SUN­DOWNS Ad­mir­ing Pitso com­mends Ar­rows’ ‘beau­ti­ful’ dis­play.

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT - Michael­son Gumede

Mamelodi Sun­downs’ back­line of Thapelo Morena, Wayne Arendse, Mot­jeka Madisha and Lyle Lakay re­ceived a pat on the back and a high-five from Pitso Mosi­mane on Satur­day when they formed an im­mov­able wall in front of goal­keeper Kennedy Mweene.

Downs beat Golden Ar­rows 2-0 to ad­vance to the MTN8 semi­fi­nals, and Arendse, in par­tic­u­lar, was lauded or his gal­lant dis­play.

“We were a lit­tle bit stingy at the back, con­vinc­ing and solid with Arendse,” said Mosi­mane.

“Wayne came on for Ri­cardo Nasci­mento be­cause he has got a tight ham­string. We could not risk him be­cause as much as we were play­ing this game we were al­ready man­ag­ing the next game. We are play­ing the cham­pi­ons of Africa on Fri­day. We couldn’t take a risk with Ri­cardo. It is good that he scored last week and Wayne scored this week,” he added.

Mosi­mane was some­what pleased that Abafana Bes’thende gave them a run for their money at some stages of the game.

“They have that kind of play, it is beau­ti­ful. Some­times I don’t like to see them sit­ting back be­cause they have got qual­ity when they go toe-to-toe.”

His op­po­site num­ber, Clin­ton Larsen, says he had a dif­fer­ent game plan to what Mosi­mane would have ex­pected as his side took on Downs pound-for-pound as op­posed to the cus­tom­ary de­fen­sive ap­proach.

“We tried to play on the front foot, I think in the past we tried to play more con­ser­va­tively and play on the break but we went with a brave ap­proach,” Larsen said.

He was very im­pressed by how the trio of Si­bon­iso Conco, Nduduzo Sibiya and Mu­tizwa bossed the mid­field and forced Sun­downs out of their com­fort zone.

“We played Danny Ven­ter in a play­mak­ing role and I think he ex­celled in the mid­dle of the park,” he said.

“They did well to play in­side where Themba Zwane, Gas­ton Sirino and Sibu­siso Vi­lakazi like to play and I think they be­came very frus­trated be­cause they couldn’t get any joy through the mid­dle.

“I thought we dealt with that quite well be­cause they opted to play long balls over the top.”

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