Pitso Mosimane believes a failure to properly replace Khama Billiat and Percy Tau ultimately counted against Mamelodi Sundowns, as they failed to break down Wydad Casablanca on Saturday at Lucas Moripe Stadium and missed out on reaching the Caf Champions League final.
A goalless draw in Atteridgeville gave Wydad a 2-1 aggregate semifinal win, and Mosimane also admitted that Sundowns had not played particularly well on the day. Masandawana battled to created opportunities against a resolute Wydad, with Tebogo Langerman’s late header, skewed badly off-target, probably their best opportunity.
“I know that the team needs some time, some experience,” said Mosimane after the match.
“I will always say that this is a team under construction, when we lose and when we win. You can see it … it needs to be a bit different up front, in terms of scoring goals. And I have always told you some of the signings did not come out.
“We tried to reinforce after we lost Khama and Percy, our top strikers. We signed Ali Meza, Toni Silva, Jeremy Brockie, Aubrey Ngoma … but the reality is that the gap was not closed, that is the truth.
“When you lose those two (Billiat and Tau) the team is a bit difficult to maintain, so I am happy with the team coming in the top four,” added Mosimane.
“When you go out in the semifinals, with a 2-1 aggregate scoreline, you have to face the reality and accept it.”
Sundowns still have an excellent chance to win the Absa Premiership, especially after Orlando Pirates could only draw with Cape Town City on Saturday.
If Mosimane’s side win their last two league games, at home to Golden Arrows tomorrow evening, and at Free State Stars on May 11, they will retain their domestic title.
“I heard from the supporters that Pirates had drawn,” said Mosimane.
“But do we have a guarantee to win on Tuesday? I don’t like to get excited too quickly. Anything is possible on Tuesday. You can’t celebrate, you must win first … a game in hand is not a game won,” he concluded.
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