Mamelodi Sundowns not themselves against Yanga says Rulani Mokwena

Mamelodi Sundowns not themselves against Yanga says Rulani Mokwena

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena believes his charges lacked their usual sharpness in the away leg of their CAF Champions League quarterfinal tie against Young Africans in Tanzania.

The goalless draw means Downs will have to get the job done on Friday at Loftus Stadium in pursuit of their first title in the competition since 2016.

Mokwena explains why The Brazilians were not their best in Dar es Salam.

"We lacked a little bit of compactness and couldn't really get the foot on the ball and play with a bit more control and dominate the game. We lost too many duels, lost too many second balls and we were quite rested at halftime. We looked a little bit better in the second half I think, we played a little bit more with intensity and then tried to go forward," Mokwena said.

The Sundowns mentor adds that he knew coming into the fixture Yanga would not make it easy for the inaugural African Football League title holders.

READ: Richards Bay coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi explains reunion with Ntsako Makhubela

"We played against a good team, we knew it was gonna be difficult and regardless of whatever was gonna be the scoreline, we knew that we were gonna have to win in Pretoria and I think it still remains the same," Mokwena added.

Sundowns were without influential midfielder and captain Themba Zwane and according to Mokwena, his absence was evident.

The coach looks forward to having him return to the line-up.

"He's the captain of the team, so, he's an important part of our team and of course we missed him a little bit today but everyone tried. I'm happy with the commitment and the effort, especially in the second half. It's not always easy coming from a FIFA break, the first game after an international break but okay, let's see how it goes."