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CAF Champions League

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mngqithi pinpoints similarities between Orlando Pirates and La Passe

4:02 PM MYT 13/10/2022
Manqoba Mngqithi, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2022
Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi has compared their Caf Champions League opponents La Passe with PSL giants Orlando Pirates.
  • Mngqithi feels Pirates and La Passe have a similar structure
  • The reigning PSL Coach of the Season feels Downs could have done better
  • Masandawana will face La Passe again on Friday

WHAT HAPPENED: The experienced tactician was speaking ahead of their second-round second-leg clash against the Seychelles champions on Friday as Sundowns look to reach the group stage.
Last weekend, Masandawana hammered a hapless La Passe side 7-0 in the first-leg encounter which gave Mngqithi a chance to study their opponents.
The 51-year-old tactician has now likened the minnows' style of play to that of the Buccaneers as he feels the two teams have a similar structure.

WHAT DID MNGQITHI SAY: “In terms of the scoreline, I think we could have done better than we did, but they also gave us a few scary moments in transitions where we could have easily been punished," Mngqithi told the media.
“That [La Passe] team structurally looks close to what Pirates would provide. We knew it was going to be those two 10s and one 9 and two sitting midfielders. 
"It’s the same thing you experience at Pirates with two wingbacks that are always high and wide and the three centrebacks.”
“In terms of the scoreline, I think we could have done better than we did, but they also gave us a few scary moments in transitions where we could have easily been punished," he continued.
“That [La Passe] team structurally looks close to what Pirates would provide. We knew it was going to be those two 10s and one 9 and two sitting midfielders. 
"It’s the same thing you experience at Pirates with two wingbacks that are always high and wide and the three centrebacks.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: This comparison has come as a surprise and some may see it as a dig at Pirates with Sundowns set to host the Soweto giants in an MTN8 semi-final second-leg clash on October 22.
However, Masandawana fans might indicate that their side is Pirates' hoodoo team as the Tshwane giants are undefeated in their last seven games against Bucs - winning five games and drawing two.
Furthermore, five years ago, Sundowns humiliated Pirates when they hammered them 6-0 in a PSL clash which is one goal short of the 7-0 win over La Passe hence the comparison.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR SUNDOWNS?: Masandawana have already put one foot in the Champions League group stage heading into their clash with La Passe leading 7-0 on aggregate.
Sundowns are expected to claim another routine win over the four-time Seychelles champions at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane.