A Taariq Fielies volley was all that separated the two sides at Cape Town Stadium, with Mosimane fielding a much-changed line-up following his team’s Absa Premiership fixture midweek, with one eye on their must-win CAF Champions League clash on Tuesday.
Yet despite the loss, Mosimane said he was pleased with what he saw from his men.
“We played well – I’m not unhappy with my boys,” he said. I think you know that 90% of the boys that played on the pitch had not even played 45 minutes this season.
“This was the team we left behind when we went to Morocco, so if they play like this, I’m happy – they did very well to match a very good team like Cape Town City.
“We have a difficult programme, but I thought we managed the game well.
“We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it’s the price you pay for being ambitious. When you want more, you have to put more. We were involved in three different competitions in six days, all with their own different emotions.”
The Brazilians coach insists if the MTN8 tournament was his primary concern, he could have easily called in a number of stars he left out of the match day squad, and is quietly confident ahead of the second leg this weekend.
“It wasn’t a win at all costs,” he said. “If I wanted my defence sorted, I would’ve brought on Wayne Arendse. If I was really, really desperate and wanted a goal, I had sitting [Jeremy] Brockie on the bench. If I really wanted to strengthen the midfield, I had Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa on the bench. I can do anything … if I really wanted to win, I could have brought [Sibusiso] Vilakazi, [Gaston] Sirino and 'Mshishi' [Themba Zwane], and [Hlompho] Kekana – I could’ve brought in the big guns.
“But all is not lost, we still have a chance in the second leg in Pretoria. Normally there’s a goal for us in Pretoria.”
Despite recording two losses and a draw in their last three games, Mosimane then dished out an age-old football cliché, followed by one of his most famous quips, with a smile.
“If you are ambitious, you will have a lot on your plate, and you have to stand up for it,” he said. “And that’s what Sundowns is about. But this is a marathon, remember? We are stuttering now, but I’ve seen this movie before and you know how it ends – it will end properly. This is just chapter one.”
Sundowns face Horoya in their do-or-die CAF Champions League fixture on Tuesday, before taking on City in their second-leg MTN8 semi-final on Sunday afternoon, with both encounters set to take place at Lucas Moripe Stadium.