The Brazilians reached the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals after seeing off their stubborn ABC Motsepe League opponents
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Tiyani Mabunda says they had to “use experience” and “suck the energy out of Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) legs” to record a 2-0 Nedbank Cup Last 16 victory at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday.
After a goalless first half, VUT’s resilience was finally broken eight minutes after the break when Wayne Arendse opened the scoring, before Phakamani Mahlambi sealed the victory 20 minutes from full-time.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane rested some of his regular players, giving a run to the likes of Bangaly Soumahoro, Sammy Seabi and Matlala Makgalwa.
But Mabunda feels they were still not short on experience which they summoned to break a stubborn VUT outfit.
“It was a very tactical game. We had to be more of using our experience. It was never going to be easy,” Mabunda told SuperSport TV.
“You could see that this VUT team had build up confidence. After playing their first game (knocking out Golden Arrows) they believed that they could go all the way. It was not a matter of struggle. They knew our style of play. We had to manage and make sure that we don’t lose concentration.”
Mabunda said they had to knock the ball around, forcing VUT to get tired from chasing the possession.
“We knew that it may not come in the first half, it may not come in the first five minutes. But we needed to keep on playing, we needed to keep on pushing the ball around, making sure that we suck the energy out of their legs,” added Mabunda
“And the more we moved the ball around in the second half you could see that they were starting to slow down and that’s when we got our opportunities. So we had to change the gear in the second half and make sure that we got the goals and I am happy that we got them.”