‘City were never our hoodoo team’

Heading into last week’s encounter, The Brazilians had lost three games in succession against the Cape club, yet finally turned the tables with a 1-0 victory at Athlone Stadium on Friday night.

Mngqithi admits the hosts gave Downs a run for their money this time around, but insists City were never their hoodoo team, based on the performances in previous matches.

“Football is such a strange game,” Pitso Mosimane’s right-hand man said. “If you look at the intensity Cape Town City showed, it’s a game where they could have got something out of it, and we would not have complained. But in the games that we lost against them, all three of them were games where we dominated fully and created more scoring opportunities, but were basically caught on counter-attacks.

“So it’s surprising that in the game where they really put in a lot to try and win the match, it’s the game they lost. All the other three games – as much as one would say they were our hoodoo team, a hoodoo team is a team that would always give you trouble in terms of the way they play and winning the match. But they’ve never really given us trouble in terms of the match, but unfortunately the result would always favour them.”

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Mngqithi feels previous circumstances had always worked in City’s favour.

“Circumstances also favoured them – when we played them the first time, we were coming off a very hectic schedule in Africa,” he said. “In the last match we played here last season, we did not deserve to lose – they played well, but we scored a legitimate goal through [Leonardo] Castro who was said to have fouled [an opponent]. So football can be very strange, as this time it was a game where, if they had a drawn they would have said they worked for it.

“But all the other games where we didn’t win are the games where we could have scored three, four or even five goals.”

Sundowns now hold a five-point lead at the summit of the Absa Premiership standings, and next take on Free State Stars in the league following Friday’s Nedbank Cup clash against Cape Town All Stars.

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