ABOVE: Cape Town City captain Lebogang Manyama says his team mates deserve all the praise for his goal in Friday’s win over Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePixIol News
CAPE TOWN – Lebogang Manyama was once again the toast of the Mother City after his 11th league goal of the season propelled Cape Town City to a 1-0 victory over PSL and African champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Athlone Stadium on Friday night.
But in his trademark self-effacing manner – and attitude that, in fact, permeates the entire City squad – Manyama (pictured) preferred to deflect the individual praise and heap all the credit on to the rest of the team.
“It wasn’t about me,” said Manyama. “It was about the whole bunch of teammates that work very hard behind the attackers. They give us the freedom to go forward…
“We knew we were up against the best team in Africa. We had to give them the respect, but the question was always about whether they were ready for the pace that we were going at them. We knew we had to be patient and you saw in the last 20 minutes that we had them at sixes and sevens. In this team, we work very hard for each other.”
Manyama explained how City went about exploiting the Pretoria team’s frailties.
“I thought, on the night, that Sundowns’ weaknesses were actually our strengths. Their defence was very slow, so we let them have the ball while we were patient, and we kept on catching them on the counter. We knew we were going to have a whole lot of chances and it was just a matter of burying them. We could have scored more, but we will take it, it was a great performance from the whole team.”
City coach Eric Tinkler was in awe of the effort put in by his team
“The victory was all down the players, the work ethic they showed, and the defensive discipline too,” said Tinkler. “But it was an entertaining game for everybody, back and forth, the chances they had, the chances we had, but I think overall we deserved the win. It’s important, if you want to be title contenders, you’re going to have to go and win the rest of the games to ensure you can stay with the likes of Sundowns.
“Yes, Sundowns lost tonight, but if they win two of the games they have in hand they’ll go above us, that’s just the harsh reality, so we have to continue winning if we really want to consider ourselves title contenders.”
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane agreed with Tinkler’s assessment that Friday’s defeat doesn’t really damage the Pretoria club’s title ambitions.
“It wasn’t a title-defining game,” said Mosimane. “We’re in a position that it’s okay to take a loss.
“We lost to a good team, they’re very good on the break, well organised, they don’t commit, and they deserved the win. They lost many chances they could have scored, we lost many chances to score, but that’s the game.
“We have surpassed our objectives at this stage of the season. We are fine. We just lost to a good team. They are very good, they have a very good attack, they must get the credit.”
Weekend Argus / Iol News