A Premier Soccer League coach fresh from battle with Mamelodi Sundowns, though he came unstuck, has some tips on how to beat the defending league champions.
Steve Barker went toe-to-toe with the Brazilians at the weekend when Stellenbosch initially took the lead in their DStv Premiership clash, but the log leaders scored in either half to win the game – one of the goals coming with virtually the last kick of the game.
Peter Shalulile bagged the winner in added time to deny Barker a point, at least, and the victory kept Downs’ unbeaten run of 17 league games going.
“When you do play a team like Sundowns, the message to the players was that you know you are going to have to defend,” Barker told journalists.
“And you are probably not going to have the most possession in the game, so you know that you have to be structurally organised – defend really well.”
Can you beat them? And how?
“But the key part is the 40-45 percent that you have the ball, it’s what you can do with it to cause them problems. I feel Sundowns are a team that is beatable if you do exactly that, which we did at times. But it’s those crucial moments where, as I said, Ashley Du Preez takes a chance and it’s 2-0 and late on in the game we had other good opportunities to get back in the lead,” the former AmaTuks coach explained.
“The difference right now when you have strikers like Sundowns, all in their late 20s and early 30s, they’ve done the yards and they’ve got the experience, calm in and around the box and make the right decisions more often. So we are not there. But we will get there.”
Scroll through the images of Downs schooling TP Mazembe!