Pitso Mosimane satisfied with Sundowns' away Champions League point at Wydad
Lauded Pitso Mosimane was satisfied with the away point as Mamelodi Sundowns played to a 0-0 draw with Wydad Casablanca in their Caf Champions League Group B clash on Saturday night.
The Brazilians had lost their four previous visits to face Wydad in Morocco in the last two years‚ and had a good goal disallowed early on‚ and also missed a one-on-one with the keeper as they perhaps deserved more this time round.
Mosimane is something of a cult figure in Wydad‚ much loved by their supporters who chanted his name in the wake of the stalemate‚ as rare a sight in African football as you will ever see.
It is his fifth visit to the Stade Mohammed V since September 2017 and while he had lost the previous four by a single goal‚ he garnered much respect from Wydad fans for Sundowns’ play and his own comments to local media about the team.
They would have been impressed again as Sundowns showed endeavour and quality on the ball in the first half‚ before a stout rear-guard action in the second secured the point.
“The game came out the way we expected‚ a game between Wydad and Sundowns is always like this.
"If it was a draw I would prefer 1-1 or 2-2 than 0-0‚ because a beautiful game like this must have goals‚” Mosimane said.
“We started better and it was a game of two halves. First half we took it. The last 15-20 minutes they put a lot of pressure on us.
"But we defended very clean and did not make mistakes‚ normally we make mistakes.”
Mosimane says the key to his side’s defending was to cut the supply from out wide to dangerous Wydad forward Ayoub El Kaabi.
“I am happy we dealt very well with the number nine [El Kaabi]‚ he is a very good player‚ powerful‚ and we gave him no chance to face the goals‚ he was only facing his own goal‚” Mosimane said.
“We also know that the right-winger [Badi Aouk] always likes to go down the line to cross‚ so we denied him the space.
"Same as [Ismail] El Haddad‚ he likes to go down with the [left] wing. If you deal with the wingers then the number nine does not get the ball.
“Everything happened as we expected‚ the only time we could have problems is from free-kicks and corner-kicks‚ and we were good from those.”
Mosimane felt his side had good control in the midfield‚ and used their pace to create opportunities‚ but was left to rue a one-on-one chance for Motjeka Madisha that he struck straight at the keeper.
“We tried to go with speed behind and Wydad was pulling back because we were fast‚ but that gave us space in the midfield to play and we controlled the game there.
“If we took the chance we had in the first half with the player one-on-one with the goalkeeper‚ it could have been different.
“But it was a good game‚ Wydad is a strong team and we still have respect.”