Rulani: It was a spirited fightback

MTN8

Co-coach Rulani Mokwena on Saturday applauded his Mamelodi Sundowns side's spirited fightback in a 1-1 first-leg draw against Golden Arrows in the MTN8.

New signing Pavol Safranko scored late in the 85th minute to equalise for the Brazilians at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium after conceding an early goal.

Mokwena praised his team's fighting spirit in search of an equaliser after being largely frustrated despite holding a mammoth 75% of possession.

"It was a spirited comeback and fight and a good demonstration of the mentality that we possess in the team," Mokwena said post-match.

"Of course it's not easy to start the match and then to immediately be on the back foot in particular when we know the challenge that lies ahead of us.

"We are the team who has a target on its back. We know many of the teams that we'll face as in our opening four matches reinforce their defensive block.

"Of course, when they [Golden Arrows] had the 1-0 advantage, they had the right to do that and their organisational forms were very good.

"But we were in control all the time and we had a lot of possession, I think for the first time ever I see 93% ball possession.

Despite the setback result for Masandawana who remain overwhelming favourites, Mokwena insisted that their outlook remained positive.

"There's still light at the end of the tunnel, on the ideas that we have," Mokwena added.

"At the same time while we're working on those ideas we need to make sure that we work in one direction and to all pull in one direction.

"That's the most important thing, to keep the spirit high even in difficult circumstances where we play against very good opposition like today.

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