We paid school fees against Barcelona‚ says Sundowns coach Mosimane

17 May 2018 - 17:09 By Marc Strydom
FC Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde and Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane during the International Club Friendly match at FNB Stadium on May 16, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
FC Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde and Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane during the International Club Friendly match at FNB Stadium on May 16, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Barcelona against Mamelodi Sundowns was like the Rand to the Euro‚ was how Downs coach Pitso Mosimane wittily described his team’s 3-1 defeat‚ and he was not just referring to the relative cost of the two squads but also the gulf in class.

But while Mosimane rightly indicated that Barcelona have global superstars‚ and Sundowns African ones‚ and the difference showed‚ he also was quick to point out that Downs by no means disgraced themselves in Wednesday night’s Mandela Centenary Cup game at FNB Stadium.

“I think the difference is between the Rand and the Euro‚ hey‚ to sum it up‚” Sundowns’ coach said.

“I thought when they scored the first goal in the first [third] minute we started to say‚ ‘How many goals are coming?’

“But we paid school fees tonight. I think you saw that.

“[Soumahoro] Bangaly made the biggest mistake – he gave the ball to Ousmane Dembele‚ who scored.

“’KK’ [Hlompho Kekana] gave the ball to the striker‚ they scored.

“OK‚ the other goal of course was from the way Barca played.

“That’s the school fees we paid. And also‚ had we used our opportunities … .

“I think Khama Billiat should have used his opportunity. Tebogo Langerman went in there and faced the goalkeeper‚ but chose to put it across – but in Maritzburg he cracked it from far.

“And obviously Percy Tau went one-one-one with the goalkeeper. That’s where the goal is.

“But to sum it up‚ obviously you could see the difference‚ you could see the quality in Barca‚ you could see how they passed the ball.

“We struggled a little bit to get the ball‚ but we also had a chance to play.

“And that’s what I wanted. For Sundowns to play the way we play – we’ve got our own way of playing – and test it against Barcelona.

“And I was happy that we could find our passing parts in-between. Even the goal we scored was beautiful.

“We got our passing parts. And‚ I mean‚ that’s a Sundowns goal. And we could do something.

“But there’s a big difference. And we must also not fool ourselves – this was a friendly game. It could have been competitive‚ and maybe could have been different.

“But you have to be happy with what you see. Because you played against the best team in the world‚ against superstars.

“And we managed to play. I don’t think we embarrassed our people. We played football – and that’s good.”

Downs paid for two schoolboy stray passes – one by Bangaly that led to Dembele’s third-minute opener and the other by otherwise outstanding captain Kekana that created Barca’s third by Andre Gomes.

For the record‚ the Rand-Euro exchange rate was 0‚068 on Thursday morning.


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