Speaking to Kick Off at after the Buccaneers lost 2-1 to the Brazilians at Loftus Stadium in front of a near capacity crowd, Da Gama added that his forced substitutions due to injuries to Lucas Thwala and Happy Jele had an effect on his game plan in the second half.
“We were unfortunate to lose the game. We created many chances and had two clear opportunities to score in the first half but missed them.
“I think the forced substitutions of Thwala and Jele also contributed to our loss as they affected our game plan.
“I was happy with the performance of my team and also happy that we are getting to where I want this team to be.
“Our next game is against Jomo Cosmos on Wednesday and now our focus has to shift to this. I hope that my players will continue with same good showing,” he adds.
Bucs’ manager Shakes Mashaba, who made his way to the dressing room after the game to comfort his players, was also happy about their performance.
“This team is going far; the coach has identified the problems that we experienced in the past and is working on them. The positive results are just around the corner and I hope supporters will be patient for results.
“It is too early to rule us out of contention for the League title because it is still wide open.”
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund admitted that Pirates were better team in the first half, but he believes he came with a better game plan in the second half.
“In the first 20 minutes they came at us but we were prepared for this. We allowed our wingers to play more in central midfield and didn’t give them space to play those passes. In the second half we played our own way and took control of the game.”