Mamelodi Sundowns coach picks out positives in Esperance defeat

Mamelodi Sundowns coach picks out positives in Esperance defeat

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena picked out the positives following their narrow 1-0 defeat away to Esperance in the first leg of their CAF Champions League semifinal tie in Tunisia.

The Brazilians succumbed to a 41st minute goal scored by attacking midfielder Yan Sasse and were unable to claw their way back.

Mokwena insists Downs were the dominant side.

"I thought we were brave on the ball, I thought we defended very well. I thought we suffered together in moments when we had to suffer against a very good team. When I watch the games of Esperance, Club African, the two games against ES Sahel, ASEC, I don't remember a team dominating Esperance here at home like we did today [Saturday night]," Mokwena said.

READ: Desperate Ernst Middendorp banking on Kaizer Chiefs win against Richards Bay

The Sundowns mentor felt the home side were also aided by their home crowd at the Stade Olympique Rades, who pushed them in moments where the visitors were searching for an equaliser.

"I think it helped the Esperance team because in difficult moments they pushed the team. For the first time, I see Sasse the Brazillian tracking back and running all the way and normally he doesn't do that in the games that I watched so credit to the fans for supporting Esperance the team," Mokwena added.

Even though the score board shows Esperance were winners of the first leg, Mokwena refuted the notion that his counterpart Miguel Cardoso outsmarted him on the night.

"I don't agree that tactically Esperance won, no, I fully disagree. I think in football there are two very important things during the 90 minutes, the first is how many chances are you able to create and who created the most chances today? I'm asking who created the most chances between us and Esperance, Mamelodi neh? And then who defended better, the one that gave more chances or the one that gave less chances?"