Mosimane remains confident after setback

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Pitso Mosimane

CHICKEN Inn opponents in the Caf Champions League preliminary round Mamelodi Sundowns are confident they will overturn the result when the two teams meet in the decisive return leg in Pretoria, South Africa, in a fortnight.

BY HENRY MHARA

The flamboyant South African side were humbled 1-0 by Joey Antipas’ side in the first leg at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday, with Michelle Katsvairo scoring the important goal.

The result leaves Chicken Inn with a good chance of progressing to the next round of the competition.

Pitso Mosimane Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, however, is not throwing the towel just as yet and he is confident his side will reverse matters at their Lucas Moripe Stadium on February 27.

“Yes, we lost the match, but the round is not lost. We will have to do the business at home (in two weeks’ time),” Mosimane told the club’s website yesterday.
“Even before the match, I spoke of the quality of Chicken Inn. So we knew what we were up against. We had noted that they had beaten sides like Highlanders and Dynamos.”

The Brazilians star man Khama Billiat did not feature in the defeat after failing a late fitness test with a hamstring injury, but the Warriors speedy winger, who was making his first trip to the country on club football, is expected to be back for the return leg.

The club announced the attacker is receiving treatment and looks likely to be back for their next league match against Golden Arrows on Saturday.

But Mosimane blamed fatigue on the loss after an energy-sapping league match against Orlando Pirates, which preceded the Chicken Inn encounter.

He also noted Barbourfields’ heavy turf could have taken a lot of energy out of his charges.

“Khama (Billiat) complained about a tight hamstring after the Pirates match, while Dennis (Onyango) suffered a knee injury. That is why I did not field the two,” Mosimane said.

“Then we had to substitute Teko Modise at half time because his legs could not carry him through. Leo Castro and Keagan Dolly also struggled with the pace of the game,” he said.

“Chicken Inn looked a lot sharper than us. They sat back and waited to catch us on the counter, and we were aware of this tactic, but eventually, they did get the break.

“We played a whole lot more on the counter, and opened up a lot as we attacked them in search of the away goal. But we just did not have the legs to sustain this.”

Without their poster boy Billiat, the away side appeared clueless every time they got in the final third.

Even the introduction of former Highlanders and Dynamos striker Cuthbert Malajila did not yield anything, as the home side was clearly determined to defend its gains.