Mokwena: It was a gallant fight


Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena was not happy with the first-half performance but hailed the response from his charges in the second period after the 3-0 win over TS Galaxy.

The Brazilians failed to click into gear in the first 45 minutes and were well contained by TS Galaxy's man-marking. Mokwena said that his players were moving out of position too much in order to try and lose their man-markers which affected the structure and balance of the side.

"First half we were not so happy with it where we made a lot of movements and sometimes you know you don't blame the players because they want to get rid of their markers," the Masandawana mentor told SuperSport TV.

"A team that does really well in their defensive scheme. When they rotate along the field and they go man to man sometimes the automatic reaction is to think that with a lot of movement you can lose your marker but the reality is then you compromise the structure of the team. And when you do that, we don't have the right sort of balance."

However, Mokwena noted the significant improvement in the second half after some adjustments were made and instructions given.

"We fixed it a bit at half-time and the players responded to the instructions," said the former Orlando Pirates coach.

"We kept a bit more simplicity with our movements. Our structure was fixed in and out of possession. And then we got the three goals. It was a gallant fight against a very aggressive and well-organised team."

He then praised the side for defending from the front and said in modern football it is important that all 11 men on the pitch defend.

"Our defence is not really in relation to what we do out of possession," said Mokwena.

"We work a little bit hard on our schemes when we are in possession. Our rest defence is critical and some counter-pressing and tactical fouls. But good, very good in the second half. A very very good performance. We're not too happy with the first half. Congratulations to Sundowns and to the team for a lot of good work throughout the week."

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