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Mamelodi Sundowns University of Pretoria

Mokwena: We Didn’t Deserve To Go To Penalties

  • April 12, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Mokwena: We Didn’t Deserve To Go To Penalties

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena expressed his disappointment with his team’s performance despite securing a narrow victory in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final on Friday.

The Brazilians were pushed to the limit by Motsepe Foundation Championship side University of Pretoria, ultimately winning 4-2 on penalties.

Sundowns appeared to be on course for a comfortable win after Lucas Ribeiro Costa opened the scoring with a curling effort in the eighth minute. They dominated possession early on, as expected.

However, their failure to capitalize on their dominance proved costly. In the 32nd minute, Delano Abrahams capitalized on a loose ball following a free kick from Samuel Julies and Kamohelo Pheene’s knockdown to level the score.

The match remained deadlocked after extra time, with Tuks’ well-organized defense frustrating the Sundowns attack.

“It was difficult, they loaded the box with throw-ins and free kicks,” Mokwena admitted to SuperSport after the game.

He continued, expressing his frustration with his team’s missed opportunities: “But why did the game even go to penalties? We should have been three or four goals ahead in the first 15 minutes. We had even more chances in the second half, with (Thembinkosi) Lorch missing a (golden) opportunity in the final minute. (Nevertheless), I’m happy for the boys and the team. Congratulations to Mamelodi Sundowns for reaching the semifinals.”

This victory is significant for Sundowns, who were eliminated at the same stage by Stellenbosch FC last season. They hold the record for most Nedbank Cup wins (four) under the competition’s current sponsor. The draw for the semi-finals will take place after the remaining quarter-final match between TS Galaxy and Chippa United at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday.

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