Arrows coach Seema happy with draw against Sundowns in home cup semifinal
Lehlohonolo Seema will take a draw at home any day when playing against Mamelodi Sundowns, even if it means the result could hurt Lamontville Golden Arrows at a later stage.
Arrows drew 1-1 with Sundowns in an MTN8 first leg semifinal at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday, and while the away goal scored by the visitors could ultimately prove to be decisive when the two teams meet in the second leg in Pretoria, Seema seemed to suggest Abafana Bes’thende, the 2009 winners, should be grateful they did not lose in Durban.
It is a rather puzzling view as Arrows led the match for close to 80 minutes after they took a 6th-minute lead via Nqobeko Dlamini’s strike. With Sundowns piling on the pressure and adding Pavol Safranko and Thabiso Kutumela to the fray as late substitutes in the second half, the Durban outfit could not hold on to their precious lead and eventually conceded.
Kutumela supplied Safranko with a cross that Arrows keeper Sifiso Mlungwana could not handle and the Slovakian pounced in the 85th minute to score his first goal in the colours of the Brazilians.
“Ja, 1-1 with Sundowns we’ll take it considering that it was against a very spirited Sundowns,” a seemingly relieved Seema said.
“I’m happy with one thing that as Golden Arrows we kept shape and you could see that they were pressing us very high. But we managed to get out from there and we got a goal. We could have been 2-0 up in the first half.
“One thing that I’m happy about is that tactically we were sound. Sundowns tried to press us high, they tried to play in the middle and they couldn’t. We were compact and they resorted to crosses in the last minutes of the game.
“That shows the quality that they have. They can change the way they want to attack. You could see with the substitutes that they [brought on] towards the end [of the match]. But I’m happy with how the players played and I’m happy that we’ve got a draw.”
While admitting that the second leg away could be even tougher for his side as they will be playing away from home, Seema, who joined Arrows at the end of last season, said he would have had more time and games with the team by the time he faces Sundowns again.
“It’s going to be a difficult one, but [the game] will be after a month. We are going to have some few more games behind us and we will rectify some things,” he said.
“I think the way we finished now, we finished very strong and I’m happy with the way we’re going forward.”