The Star Late Edition
Mdaka not giving up on Gallants’ dream
MARUMO Gallants coach Raymond Mdaka has expressed huge frustration at his team's inability to utilise goalscoring opportunities after suffering a loss in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Bahlabane Ba Ntwa's aspirations to reach their first-ever continental Cup final took a huge blow as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Tanzanian side Young Africans in the first leg of their semi-final battle on Wednesday.
Marumo Gallants could not withstand the pressure of the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium and lost their composure at crucial moments in front of a hostile crowd.
Mdaka could not hold back his disappointment at the nature in which his side lost as they performed well, but did not receive the requisite results thanks to their inefficiencies in front of goal. “We feel it was not a game that we should've lost, we got more of the chances. We missed four chances in a row which were mostly goal-scoring opportunities and they got two chances and scored two goals,” Mdaka said.
“But looking at the game, it's one game that we felt was not a difficult game, it's just that we could not convert our chances and on that basis, we still feel we're still there.”
The transformed Marumo Gallants have a somewhat trusted starting line-up that has lifted them to where they currently are now and Mdaka believes that missing out on key personnel also played a contributing factor in the defeat.
“There are a few players that were not there. (Celimpilo) Ngema was not there, (Lebogang) Mabotja was not there because of some injuries and we hope to have them back in the second game,” he said.
Mdaka, who has guided the team alongside Dylan Kerr to one of the most remarkable moments in the history of the Confederation Cup expressed that his team have the experience to forge a way back into the encounter, having already completed a comeback in the competition this season.
“We were once in this situation against USM Alger and we went there and USM Alger were a better side than the team we played today and I'm not undermining them, but we feel we still can make it and for us it's just to get an early goal, obviously it will unsettle them and put them under pressure and as long as we don't concede, we definitely have a chance to get to the final.”