Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi admitted that it hurts to see his team exiting the CFA Champions League in the manner that it happened. Mngqithi was reacting after Sundowns was knocked out of the competition in the quarterfinals, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Angola champions Petro Atletico, after they were held to a one-all draw at the FNB stadium Saturday the 23rd April.

Sundowns missed a penalty on the stroke of full-time as Themba Zwane’s spot kick hit the woodwork; they eventually took the lead in the second half through Brian Mandela Onyango’s goal. But the Angolans equalized from the penalty spot through Tiago Azulao’s penalty.

Mngqithi found it hard to accept this defeat: “It’s hurting too much I don’t want to lie because what is very unfortunate is that I still believe our team was a better team on the day but unfortunately that does not count when you did not put balls in the net because the truth of the matter is in the Champions League unlike in the PSL, in the champions league you make 1, 2 stupid mistakes you get punished you know. The goals we conceded that side were all very bad mistakes you know, crosses are coming in into the box, we’ve got a 4 against 1 in the box then we concede. So it hurts because you know that your team is better than it delivered”

It is for the first time in four years that an Angolan team has reached the last four in the CAF Champions League, the last team to achieve that was Primeiro de Agosto in 2018. Atletico coach Alexandre Santos says this is a big achievement for Angolan football…

“It’s a historic moment for the Petro ummh it’s not easy one Angola team achieved, gets the Semifinal is not because is not easy to win. Sundowns was not easy to keep 0-0 first and to go to the 1-1 and past the Semifinals”

Petro will now face Wydad Casablanca in the last four as Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly takes on Algeria side ES Setif. But Santos also admitted that in Sundowns they’ve beaten a very strong team and says they had to work very hard on their defensive strategy for this second leg.

By Velile Mnyandu

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