Michaelson Gumede
2 minute read
9 Mar 2020
10:27 am

Pitso defends Maboe over own goal

Michaelson Gumede

Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Lebohang Maboe was crucified on social media and saw the substitution gesture from the Sundowns faithful for turning a goal into his own net in their Caf Champions League quarterfinal against Al-Ahly on Saturday evening.

Lebohang Maboe (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Masandawana were held to a 1-1 draw in the second leg and booted out of the tournament after losing 3-1 on aggregate.

READ: Pitso ready to sign new Sundowns contract

Maboe’s coach Pitso Mosimane came to the defence of his player after the game. The own goal meant Sundowns needed to score four times to beat Al Ahly, but they only managed one, with Gaston Sirino equalising for Masandawana.

“It is unfortunate, we cannot be blaming Lebo for an own goal. It was an in-swinger and he should have used the left foot but he used the right foot. He will learn. It is unfortunate and it is part football. We know how we lost and it is okay, we can take the defeat,” said Mosimane.

“I must congratulate the coach (of Al Ahly), they have been good to us in Cairo and even here, this game was played in good spirits, even outside the game, and there have never been any stories. They looked after us in Egypt and we looked after them here, football should be like that and I appreciate that the Champions League is improving,” he added.

Mosimane kept jumping up and down in the dugout in frustration at Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy’s time-wasting tactics but “Jingles” says he has accepted that the Champions League will always have that element of winding down the clock.

“What is new with the delaying tactics? It is part of the game and it is part of the Champions League. It happens, I must accept. I am not going to fix Caf. The Champions League is played in this manner and we have to live with it and we have to accept it.

“Next year is going to be the same. I found it like that and I am not here to fix the Champions League. People are always sleeping on the ground, goalkeepers don’t want to play, it is part of it but I don’t do it – no matter who I play against, no matter what the result might be,” added the Sundowns coach.

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