John Maduka suffers first loss
South Africa DStv Premiership leaders and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns have handed Malawian coach John Maduka his first defeat since returning to Royal AM early last month.
Sundowns thumped Royal 5-1 in a match played on Tuesday night to pull 20 points clear at the top of the table.
Maduka rued his team’s missed chances and said his charges gave their opponents space and time on the ball.
“We started the game very well and even in those moments if we’re clinical enough, I think we would have been 2-0 up. And after that maybe we thought the game is going to be easy and we started to give them space and time on the ball and we know, with the quality they have, give them time and space, they will hurt you. That is exactly what happened,” snl24.com quotes him as telling SuperSport TV.
“We conceded a goal that we’re not supposed to. We had numerical advantage but we allowed them to combine and get that goal. We were slow in defence. The second goal again, a back pass, miscommunication, we conceded.
“Teams like Sundowns wait for you to make mistakes. With the quality they have, they punish you and exactly that happened. We struggled to deal with them especially in midfield and defence. We could not push high. As a result, we allowed them to come in our area, our defensive zone,” the former Malawi National Football Team captain said.
He said after the match, the team knows what and where to fix.
“Immediately you allow them in the defensive zone, you are allowing them to take shots and because of their intelligence, the players they have, they can open spaces and create many chances. That’s why we ended up conceding many goals,” Maduka said.
However, he said Royal should not be judged on the performance of one match as they were up against the champions.
“Our players learn so many things. Going forward, we know where to fix and come through in the next game,” he said.
The result left Royal on seventh position on the table with 29 points from 23 matches.
Maduka returned to Royal after a stint at Maritzburg United and went without a loss in both cup and league matches until Tuesday night.