Pitso: Extra-Time Could Have Cost Us The League
Pitso Mosimane Feels Nedbank Cup May Have Derailed Mamelodi Sundowns' Absa Premiership Title Bid
Pitso Mosimane admits extra-time against Maritzburg United on Sunday could have played a detrimental role in Mamelodi Sundowns' Absa Premiership title push.
Sundowns and United went toe-to-toe at Harry Gwala Stadium for a place in the Nedbank Cup final, with the sides evenly matched for 70 minutes of the encounter, before goalscorer Gaston Sirino was red carded to leave the Brazilians at a disadvantage.
It would eventually prove telling as the Team of Choice scored twice in the closing minutes to seal a 3-1 victory and set up a final against Free State Stars at Cape Town Stadium on May 19.
For Mosimane, the result was bittersweet, with the coach ultimately willing to sacrifice cup glory for a fully-fit Absa Premiership squad ahead of their final three games of the season, which start with a rematch against Maritburg at the same venue on Wednesday.
Speaking of the turning point in Sunday's game, when Sirino was sent off, Mosimane told SuperSport: "What are you going to do? Do we sit back, or do we attack? We put Keletso (Makgalwa) on (as a substitute) to go attack. We don't sit back. It's not in our culture.
"We try and press the ball and we stole one ball there from Themba Zwane, I think you could see Percy (Tau) on the edge of the box, he could have equalised, but I'm happy that we didn't go to extra-time because we need the legs for the game on Wednesday."
Sundowns enter this week's round of league fixtures holding a six-point lead over title challengers Orlando Pirates, meaning victory over the KZN side this time around could all but seal the league trophy for the Tshwane giants.
The Buccaneers, meanwhile, are also in action on Wednesday in a simultaneous 19:30 kick-off at Orlando Stadium, against outgoing champions Bidvest Wits, who have top-eight aspirations and who will be looking to end an otherwise flat campaign on a high.