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Mokwena Questions Arrows’ Tactics

  • May 9, 2024
  • 3 min read
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Mokwena Questions Arrows’ Tactics

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena expressed confusion over Golden Arrows’ defensive approach in their goalless draw on Wednesday.

Arrows opted not to press Sundowns even when they had a one-man advantage due to a red card to Mosa Lebusa just after the second half had started.

“They sat deep with a numerical advantage. It’s a question that Steve Komphela (Arrows coach) should answer regarding their tactics,” Mokwena stated after the match.

Komphela, who spoke before Mokwena, emphasized the importance of discipline and compactness against Sundowns’ manipulative style of play.

There have been media reports of a strained relationship between Mokwena and Komphela, stemming from Komphela’s departure from Sundowns last season and Mokwena’s reported desire to assemble his own technical team upon his appointment in October 2022.

“I can’t comment on their tactics,” Mokwena reiterated. “They chose to sit deep even with the advantage.”

This result marked the third time this season an opponent has shut out Sundowns. Cape Town City and Polokwane City achieved similar feats in December.

When asked if he felt a stronger desire to win against his former colleague, Mokwena deflected the question.

“Well, I think maybe his motivation to beat us should’ve been higher, especially when there is a numerical advantage,” Mokwena added when he was asked if doesn’t want to lose to Komphela. 

“But I can’t speak for Steve, I can’t. We tried to win the game, we did everything to win the game and I’m very proud of the players and their efforts. 

“And maybe that’s a question for him.” 

Mokwena further denied any personal vendetta against Komphela.

“I don’t play in that space,” he added.  

“I try to be a coach that respects the game and tries to focus on helping the team. 

“And that’s why, even when there was a situation in the last game, I had to go against my heart and pull Divine [Lunga] out in the first half (against Stellenbosch FC in the Nedbank Cup semifinal on Sunday) to do what’s best for the team. 

“Even today, when we get a red card, it hurts to take out Themba Zwane early because he was playing well, but I must do what’s best for the team. 

“My focus all the time is not on the other things on the side, my focus is on being as professional as possibly can to help the team.” 

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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