‘We had to deliver the results under these circumstances’ – Komphela

Steve Komphela, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns consoles Felix Badenhorst of TS Galaxy after he was substituted during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 football match between Sundowns and TS Galaxy at Loftus Stadium, Pretoria on 15 December 2020. Pic: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

‘I must compliment our team for putting up a fight because this was a difficult one,’ said Steve Komphela, as Sundowns won just days after Motjeka Madisha passed away in a car accident.

Since joining Mamelodi Sundowns as their senior coach, never has Steve Komphela beamed with as much pride as he did on Tuesday night, when he oversaw a 2-0 DStv Premiership win over TS Galaxy.

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The match was played with heavy emotion as Sundowns are still processing the passing away of Motjeka Madisha, which the club are yet to officially confirm as they await DNA results.

“I must compliment our team for putting up a fight because this was a difficult one … it was more mental than otherwise. The result was supposed to be delivered to our supporters, our staff and everybody at Sundowns so that it eases the pain of the era we are going through. We are delighted with the victory.

“How can you explain emotions? No words are appropriate enough to explain such. Pride is something that comes along with understanding what is coming ahead of you and why you have to suffer. It gives great confidence in people you are working with,” said Komphela.

“Above all, under the circumstances, we said we must get all three points, keep moving and we are marching on,” said Komphela, who led the team from the dugout as Manqoba Mngqithi was serving suspension while his co-head coach, Rhulani Mokwena is in self-isolation.

Sundowns did not have the appetite to play this game but had their request to postpone the match rejected by the Premier Soccer League. The decision was viewed as inconsiderate, if social media reaction is anything to go by, but Komphela is delighted that the football gods smiled upon Masandawana.

“One thing one has to echo is that the game itself also defines that if you are focused enough and have to consider what has to be done, the universe will definitely align and help you. Look at the crossbar they hit and the penalty they missed.

“Our players understood that we are at a position of privilege and pride, to say we can play and represent Sundowns and we are at a position … to give a result. It hasn’t been easy and when you see players at the end of it coming out with pride, shows that they understood the purpose of the 90 minutes … the players did extremely well.”

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