Gracious in defeat, Jwaneng Galaxy coach Sikalame Keatlholetswe has shared some of the lessons learnt following his side’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns in the Caf Champions League first round, second leg at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Sundowns sealed their place in the group stage in style, hammering the Botswana Champions 5-1 on aggregate in the qualifiers. In the first leg, the 2016 Champions League champions beat the Botswana champions 2-0 in Lobatse.
After the game in Pretoria, Keatlholetswe discussed what he has taken from their defeats in a two-legged tie against one of the best teams on the African continent – the ‘Brazilians’.
“We have learned quite a number of things, issues, first of all, like I have said we have learned that it is a game, we have played it in the spirit of a real game even though it was competitive we equally wanted to win,” said a relaxed and humble Keatlholetswe.
“But they won the game graciously, according to the rules, everything was in order so the behaviour, they behaved very well, they played like real professionals’ which is something we will definitely want to take home,” added the Galaxy mentor.
It was expected for Sundowns to qualify for the group stage given their depth, experience, and quality. They have been a force to be reckoned with in the continent since their Champions League triumph over Egyptian giants Zamalek over two legs four years ago.
“The tactical approach, we have learned, the power in which they put when they play is something that we have learned. I believe equally they have also learned something from us,” he concluded.
Sundowns will be joined by Kaizer Chiefs, who reached the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history following a 1-0 aggregate win over Primeiro da Agosta as part of the 16 teams that will battle it out for continental glory.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
all pictures courtesy of Jwaneng Galaxy