Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Mankoba Mngkiti has heaped praise on his captain Thembu Zwane after leading the club to their first win in the DStv Premiership over Cape Town City on Friday night.

The reigning league champions secured their first win at Cape Town’s DHL Stadium and the experienced manager says intensity was the deciding factor.

Sundowns scored from Aubrey Modibo’s stunning free-kick and Zwane doubled their lead as the Tshwane giants began their title defense campaign with a 2-0 win.

Speaking after the match, the former Golden Arrows manager also praised coach Eric Tinkler’s Citizens for their gallant fightback, only to be denied by debutant Ronwen Williams, who started between the posts.

“We always knew it was going to be a tight game, we knew it could be broken with a set piece and luckily Aubrey scored a set piece,” Mngkiti told SuoerSport TV.

“Then the game opened up a little bit more and we knew in transition they might come and want to put it on us and who knows who will score in transition other than Thembo Zwane who you don’t think about because of the speed.

“But he took his goal very well. We knew that once they conceded they would be more adventurous and attack us and we wanted to use the space at the back which I don’t think we used enough. I think we could create more opportunities from this.”

The reigning DStv Coach of the Year added that the stats could reveal their dominance, but says they still need to be clinical up front.

“I think the game was won on intensity, if you check our high presses and our counter presses, I think we did nine successful high presses in the first half,” Mngkiti added.

“There’s probably not enough shots on goal, I think we only had one of those very successful high presses, but our counter presses are very good.

“The game was very close, possession we wanted to dominate the pitch and dominate the ball, which we did. When we created chances, we created a lot of scoring chances, but we weren’t accurate enough.

“And I really think after we scored the second goal we lost control of the game, the game is too transitional and we were never really consistent on the ball.”

Main image: Mamelodi Sundowns/Twitter

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