Sekhukhune coach Seema wishes Sundowns well in Caf semis

In a move that is not familiar within South African football circles, Sekhukhune United coach Lehlohonolo Seema has wished his counterparts at Mamelodi Sundowns the best of luck in their Caf Champions League semi-finals against Esperance on Friday night. Kick-off is at 8pm.

It certainly is not a common occurrence that coaches would extend well wishes to opposition teams. And Seema should be lauded for his sportsmanship.

Sundowns will face the powerhouse from Tunisia in the second leg of the of the semi-finals at the Loftus Stadium. The Brazilians have to score if they are still harbouring any hopes of advancing to the final after they went down 1-0 in the first leg in Tunis last Friday.

Sundowns defeated Sekhukhune 2-1 at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday night. And Seema displayed maturity when he sent them best wishes. He said even though they lost to Masandawana, he still wished them good luck in their endeavours against the north African outside.

“We are wishing Sundowns and coach Rulani Mokwena the best of luck in their match against Esperance on Friday night. Sundowns are opening the doors for South African coaches. We must continue to support them,” Seema told Sunday World.

“They are not doing this for themselves, they are doing it for the whole country. South African football and clubs will benefit on the continent because of Sundowns’ success. And I hope that they will reach the finals and win the tournament.”

Display of maturity

After finishing second in last season’s Nedbank Cup, Sekhukhune also played in the Caf Confederations Cup. However, they were knocked out in the group stages after a gallant showing in their first Caf tournament ever.

Seema is adamant that they were the better team against the DStv Premiership champions in their midweek league match. He said that it was unfortunate that they ended up on the losing side.

Seema explained that his players must not be ashamed of their defeat because they did not lose to Sundowns’ B-team. He added that they must be proud of their performance against a team that has all the best players in the country.

‘We gave it a good shot’

“Our players gave it a good fight. We did not sit back and park the bus. We took the match and frustrated them as the match went on. Their coach [Rulani Mokwena] had to come up with delaying tactics and made a lot of substitutions, which shows how good we played.

“According to statistics, we dominated the game, it’s just that we had a bad start and conceded two goals. People say we played against Sundowns’ B-team, and I say ‘no’. Those players are in the starting line-up and we fought hard. But it was not meant to be. And we want to forget about that match and focus on the next fixture,” Seema explained further.

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