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Mamelodi Sundowns

Downs: What Cost Us The Game

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has discussed what he felt cost the Brazilians a place in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League.

He said VAR, introduced in the knockout phase of the competition, contributed to Downs being booted out by Petro de Luanda on a 3-2 aggregate score.

“In the second half we had a lot of things that were very unfortunate, the momentum of the game was killed by a whole lot of things – the VAR decisions, I just feel that they took too long,” Mngqithi is quoted as saying on the club’s website.

“I wouldn’t say they were right or wrong, but I just feel in a game it has an effect when you have too many stoppages and maybe four or five minutes in the issue of Denis (Onyango) and the handball, I think that’s a decision that can be taken very quickly.”

Petro came into the second leg at FNB Stadium leading 2-1 and were defended deep in their half and made it difficult for Downs.

But they got a penalty that gave them the breakthrough.

“The second one was with the penalty, I think again it is something that took too long, (but) as to whether those decisions were right or wrong, to be honest at this stage I would not want to go there because to a certain extent I do believe most of the decisions were very good, but unfortunately because the momentum was broken down a lot. The second half became very ugly let’s be honest, it was an ugly game of football,” the coach added.

“We ended up forcing a lot of balls and the game became very uncontrollable, but nonetheless I am very proud of the boys. (It’s) unfortunate that we did not qualify to the semi-finals, but I think the boys gave a good account of themselves, and it’s probably us as the leadership that will have to take the bullet and say maybe we need to plan and do better in the next coming matches and make sure that we improve in this space because seemingly we are not achieving our ultimate goals.”

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