Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane felt their Telkom Knockout exploits affected his side against Baroka FC on Wednesday evening.
Sundowns lost ground in the title race following the goalless draw with Baroka, which has left the defending champions seven points behind league leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
After playing 120 minutes in Sunday's quarter-final, Mosimane acknowledged his side were not as fresh as Baroka.
“Difficult game for us, you could see we were not fresh. That 120 minutes took a little bit from us three days back and these guys weren’t playing,” Mosimane told SuperSport TV.
“They put pressure on us, they looked sharper. You could see that. But we tried. It’s just that our execution wasn’t right in the box in the first half, Ali should’ve cracked the ball, Kekana had a two-v-one passed too early.
“Mauricio (foul) there, I don’t know, its’ for you guys to talk about. Maybe Ace [Ncobo] will talk. But we didn’t really play that well that you could say we deserved the win. We have to be honest."
Admittedly the result is a set back for Mosimane , who see his side go two points off their programming while reiterating the 120 encounter aftermath.
“If it was 90 [TKO quarter-final] it would have been OK. But it took a lot. You could see my captain the passes were not right, we were a little bit lethargic even Vila [Sibusiso Vilakazi].
“That’s why I had to try and freshen up the game with Pitso [Sphelele Mkhulise] and AJ [Andile Jali] but they did something, you could see they brought the spark.
“I thought in the first half our way of playing to get [Tebogo] Langerman there at the back, he decided to pass.
“He controlled the ball and shot. But its OK you can’t win them all, set back because we are now two points behind on our programme. We will get it maybe in our second phase."