‘It’s the first time I’ve seen Wydad so stressed at the back‚’ says Mosimane
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes that under the circumstances his team came away relatively unscathed with a 2-1 defeat against Wydad Casablanca in Friday night’s away leg of the 2018-19 Caf Champions League semifinals.
In a hostile environment‚ in front of a sea of red at the 50‚000-capacity Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat‚ against one of the classiest club combinations in Africa‚ Downs had to ride their luck at times conceding chances to come away with just a single-goal disadvantage.
Anele Ngcongca’s 41st-minute equaliser gave Downs a crucial away goal and the semifinal hangs in the balance for the return leg at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday‚ May 4.
“While I’m not entirely happy with the result because we lost 2-1‚ I’m happy with the performance from the team because it’s always a difficult place for us here in Morocco – but we improve [here]‚” Mosimane said.
Downs’ coach was aware that Wydad’s big‚ impeccably precise attack pried openings throughout the match with their movements conducted at bewildering pace.
However Mosimane also took encouragement from the manner in which Sundowns’ own movement was able to trouble a team superbly trained by one of Africa’s most-respected coaches‚ Faouzi Benzarti‚ the nine-time Tunisia league winner.
“We made a lot of mistakes at the back‚ but you have to understand that everyone is stressed because it’s the Caf Champions League semifinals and everyone wants to go to the finals. I believe we should have cleared the ball in the first goal‚” Mosimane said.
“[But] It was the first time I have seen Wydad so stressed at the back – it’s also because we scored the important away goal.”
Big midfielder Salah Eddine Said scored Wydad’s 26th-minute opener and winger Aouk Badi their 47th-minute first-leg winner.