The former Kaizer Chiefs coach urged Masandawana players to remain disciplined following a victory over the Rockets
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Steve Komphela was impressed by his players’ mindset following the team’s win over TS Galaxy on Tuesday evening.
It was Masandawana’s first match without Motjeka Madisha, who is understood to have passed away in a car crash on Sunday morning.
Two goals from Peter Shalulile and Themba Zwane ensured that Sundowns secured a 2-0 win over Galaxy in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match in Pretoria.
Komphela, who was in charge of the team in the absence of his seniors, Manqoba Mnqgithi and Rhulani Mokwena, praised the team’s ability to thrive on challenges.
“Yes, a difficult evening and we knew that it was not going to be a game that would be played through tactics, technique or whatever but from a physical point of view you could see that okay we’re starting to drop, even towards the end of the first-half,” Komphela told SuperSport TV.
“We dropped towards the end of the match, naturally so but I think the most important is the mental part of it. There are stages where you just have to focus, mind over matter. Destructions will always be there but champions will always say, they feed and thrive on challenges.”
Madisha, who was nominated for the 2019/20 PSL Defender of the Season, is suspected to have died in a car accident that occurred in the East Rand, Johannesburg.
The club appears unwilling to confirm the defender’s passing until DNA results confirm it and as expected, Masandawana players came into the match against Galaxy in a sombre mood.
“Adversity is the breakfast for champions and compliment must be given to them and as well TS Galaxy, they played good football and I think coming to the resulting penalty, uncharacteristic of them to be playing a crossing game, they are more possession-based,” he went on,” Komphela continued.
“So when they started crossing you go, ‘Oh, this is not them’ but a team that starts to lose character when circumstances and challenges start to be a little bit dynamic you think different, which is something that worked for us.”
Galaxy were awarded a penalty after Sundowns defender Brian Mandela Onyango handled the ball in the box, but goalkeeper Denis Onyango denied Ebrahim Seedat from the spot-kick.
“I must thank these players, all they said was that. ‘We know what we’re going through, it doesn’t need an explanation, we’re doing this for the supporters of Mamelodi Sundowns, we’re doing this for a family that is facing a challenge and predicament, yet undefined,” Komphela added.
“We shall remain disciplined and focused while looking at how does it unfold, even in the midst unfolding in ways we don’t expect, we need to remain disciplined.”
Sundowns, who are sitting at the top of the league standings, will be in action this weekend as they take on Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday.