Richard Bay coach: We didn’t help ourselves

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Vasili Manousakis
Vasili Manousakis

Richards Bay FC co-coach Vasilli Manousakis says they didn't help themselves with their first-half display against Mamelodi Sundowns.

The KwaZulu-Natal side went down 2-0 to the Brazilians on Friday evening, which was only their third loss of the season.

The Natal Rich Boyz tactician waxed lyrical about Sundowns in the first half before going on to rectify their early errors.

“I think in the first half to be completely honest, I felt like we were watching PlayStation at some stage. Sundowns were unbelievable. The way they overload the central areas, combination play, the speed of their play, the way they pin you back,” Manousakis told SuperSport TV.

Read: Mailula & Domingo fire Downs 10 points clear

“We didn’t help ourselves, we were far too narrow. It’s something we corrected at halftime you know and one or two other despite tactical adjustments and substitutions, we said to ourselves at halftime ‘let’s have a go’.

“Rather go down fighting playing the way we like to play and enjoy playing and make a go for it in the second half."

Goals in either half from Cassius Mailula and Haashim Domingo took the Brazilians and runaway league leaders over the line, although Manousakis bemoaned the way both efforts were conceded.

“So, exactly that the first goal we had possession and we lose possession of the ball cheaply and there’s no pressure on the midfielder that just clips in behind so there’s no pressure on the ball. Cheap goal.

“In the second half, Magoola just pops out and they tap it in after we put them under a bit of pressure but I’m so proud of the Richards Bay boys I mean they are unbelievable you know to do what we asked of them.

“Listen, if we had got five today playing the way we did in the second half I would still be proud of them and that’s the way we wanna try and play football and we have lost to the best team in the league.

“It’s no surprise they are running away with it and it’s our third loss out of 15 games, not the worst in the world it’s how we bounce back now but as I said super, super proud of these boys."

There were two changes by the host at halftime in Luvuyo Memela and Yamela Mbuthuma which revived the KwaZulu-Natal side for the second period.

“So, the first thing we did we asked the two wingers Ntsundwana and Sanele Barns to stay much wider- they were drifting inside as I said in the first half which because the pitch was too narrow which played into Sundowns hands," he added.

“Stay wide- we stayed wide and flatten the Sundowns back-line. We can play behind them or there’s space in front of them for Luyuyo Memela to play, for Zungu to play and that’s what we did.

“We started getting a rhythm, we created a few good chances right at the beginning of the second half with a set-piece with Memela and it goes across the six-yard box and you say to yourselves you’ve seen two of the best goalkeepers on display today.

“Ronwen was unbelievable, he made some one or two very good saves and congratulations to Sundowns and as I said we are super proud of our boys…not ashamed in any way and we try and kick on from here."

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