March 2, 2021

Mosimane: I warned Mamelodi Sundowns about Baroka FC’s aerial power

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The Downs tactician was left blaming his players for poor marking after missing an opportunity to go top of the PSL standings

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says he warned his players of the set-piece danger posed by Baroka FC before they were beaten 1-0 at Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday.

Namibian defender Ananias Gebhardt headed in a corner kick from Tshediso Patjie to beat Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene and separate the two sides.

It was a crucial result which breathed life into Baroka’s fight against relegation while it also prevented Sundowns from occupying the top Premier Soccer League (PSL) position.

The manner in which Downs conceded appears to have angered Mosimane who said he had asked his players to work hard in defending set-pieces.

“What can I say, one mistake we got punished there, we didn’t mark in the box and a free header there, it’s unbelievable!” Mosimane told the media.

“I was warning the players, I said if we can work hard on corners and set pieces against a team that is very strong on set-pieces in the league, that has scored about 24 or 25 goals from set-pieces.

“I warned them a few days ago and I said, ‘you have defended set pieces in the [Caf] Champions League’. I mean it has been a long time since we conceded a direct header from a corner kick. And I told them to say don’t underestimate them because they are big boys also.

“I don’t know if I jinxed them or cursed them but I am the coach and I have to warn them about these things. There is no use to say ‘I told you so’. We have to move on, that is the mistake that we made on our side against Baroka, the rest is a different game.”

Sundowns’ loss came after their closest title rivals Kaizer Chiefs had been beaten by Bidvest earlier on to present the Brazilians’ with a chance to take the lead on the standings.

Had they at least shared the spoils, Mosimane’s side would be top of the table with a point above Chiefs.

“You see when football happens and results don’t come right, I’m the guy who does not want to make excuses on why we did not win,” said Mosimane.

“We did not win because we did not take our chances. We did not win because we did not mark in the box from a corner.

“Whether they [Sundowns players] knew the result or they did not know the result [of the Chiefs match], hindsight is the best sight to be honest. We can always speak about it after, but I don’t know whether it changed their mood or not.

“I can’t be going through players’ phones and digging in all the players’ phones and say they must not know what happened. When they came back, probably they knew when they went into the dressing room. They also have a vested interest to know what happened. So I don’t like making excuses because we lost.”

Sundowns now prepare to resume their title push when they clash against another relegation fighting side Polokwane City on Wednesday.

They then wrap up their campaign against another team fighting for survival, Black Leopards.