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Mokwena Unimpressed By Tunisia’s Line Of Questioning

  • April 21, 2024
  • 2 min read
Mokwena Unimpressed By Tunisia’s Line Of Questioning

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena took exception to questions from Tunisian journalists in his post-match press conference following the CAF Champions League first leg against Esperance in Rades on Saturday.

Mokwena acknowledged Esperance’s efficiency in converting their single scoring opportunity by Yan Sasse, despite Sundowns’ dominance in ball possession and chances created.

True to his claims, Thembinkosi Lorch and Themba Zwane were particularly wasteful, especially Lorch who missed a clear scoring chance. Sundowns enjoyed a significant advantage in ball possession (61%), shots on target (5 vs 3), passes (555 vs 362), and passing accuracy (84% vs 75%).

“No, I completely disagree that Esperance won tactically,” Mokwena countered in the press conference.

“In football, two key aspects matter during the 90 minutes. First, how many chances do you create? Who created more chances today?”

Mokwena then directly addressed the journalist who posed the initial question.

“You must answer that. Who created more chances, Mamelodi or Esperance? Mamelodi, right? Good. Thank you.”

“Who defended better? The team that conceded more chances or the one that conceded less? Did Sundowns concede more chances than Esperance? No, Esperance conceded more. How can you defend well while conceding more chances than your opponent?”

“Perhaps there’s a different perspective on how I analyze football. Defending means not conceding chances. I have to defend my team. I disagree with that statement, I’m sorry.”

Moving on to the next question about efficiency, Mokwena conceded Esperance’s effectiveness in converting their chance.

“Efficiency isn’t the same as performance and tactics. You’re right about efficiency. Creating one chance and scoring is efficient, but that’s a separate discussion,” he said.

“In fact, I’d like to ask you, the Tunisian media: How often do you see Esperance park the bus at home? Are you happy to see one of your biggest clubs playing so defensively against Sundowns? Are you content with that?”

“If you are, then that’s fine. You can praise Esperance without degrading Sundowns’ performance. To say Esperance was tactically superior is completely not true.”

The journalist rephrased, acknowledging Esperance’s efficiency.

“Then, that’s correct, and you and I agree,” concluded Mokwena.

The second leg will take place at Loftus Stadium on Friday (20:00).

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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