Mngqithi: The game was won on intensity


Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi was pleased with the side's work rate and intensity after opening the DStv Premiership season with a win.

Sundowns got the defence of their title on a winning note after a 2-0 win over the Citizens courtesy of second-half goals by Aubrey Modiba and Themba Zwane.

Read: Downs sink CT City in DStv Prem opener

"I think the game was won on intensity, if you check our high presses and our counter-presses I think first-half we had nine successful high presses," Mngqithi told SuperSport TV.

"Probably lacking on the shots at goal, I think we only had one from those very successful high presses but our counter-presses very good.

"The game was very close, possession we wanted to dominate the field and to dominate the ball, that's what we did. Creating chances, we created a lot of scoring opportunities but we were not clinical enough.

"And I do think after we scored the second goal we lost control of the game, the game too transitional and we were never really stable on the ball.

"At one point one felt, 'Hey, maybe we should have brought an 'AJ' [Andile Jali] just to control the game' but hindsight is always the best sight.

"Because the way they were coming we felt we also wanted to impose with our intensity, with Mothobi [Mvala] and the rest of the guys that we brought in.

"But honestly speaking it was a very good spectacle of football and a very good work from our team considering that this is our first match.

"The numbers are saying we worked very hard and statistically you would not expect to have so much in terms of the passes that we had.

"I think we had more than 407 passes in this game, we had maybe 59 percent possession, the shots at goal and chances we created were sufficient for us to win the match."

Mngqithi added they knew the game could be broken by a set-piece and that they could have done better on transitions after scoring two goals.

"We always know it's gonna be a tight game, we knew it can be broken down with a set-piece and fortunately Aubrey scored the set-piece," he went on.

"Then the game opened up a little bit more and we knew on transition they might come and want to impose on us and who knew who would score from a transition but Themba Zwane, who you would not think because of the speed.

"But he took his goal very well. We knew that after they conceded they would be more adventurous and come at us and we wanted to use the space behind, which I don't think we used enough. I think we could have created more opportunities from that."