Brave approach praised by coach
NO JOY THROUGH THE MIDDLE FOR SUNDOWNS Admiring Pitso commends Arrows’ ‘beautiful’ display.
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.”