Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
28 Nov 2021
3:03 pm

It’s a team error, says Mokwena as he dehorts against crucifying Onyango

Ntokozo Gumede

'The reality of the situation is that there are about six errors leading up to the bigger error,' says The Sundowns head coach.

Denis Onyango of Mamelodi Sundowns being sent off during the DStv Premiership match against Sekhukhune United on Saturday. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Rhulani Mokwena says it is unfair to crucify Denis Onyango for the red card that he received in a DStv Premiership win against Sekhukhune United on Saturday afternoon in Pretoria. The Downs goalie had a week to forget following his sending off that was preceded by two school-boy errors in mid-week against SuperSport United.

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“A lot of people will speak about the red card but the reality of the situation is that there are about six errors leading up to the bigger error. It was a simple situation where we should have progressed to the midfield,” said Sundowns co-head coach Rhulani Mokwena who took it upon himself to explain in detail how Onyango ended up committing a professional foul.

“There was no reason why the ball had to go back to Grant Kekana and then to Mosa Lebusa, who clearly thought the pass should go to Denis at that moment because there were two strikers. But one striker was hidden in his shoulder and he was caught unaware. You could see even with his body position that he was not expecting the pass.

“When it did come, he had to commit himself to the situation and that’s part and parcel of playing for Sundowns. You need to have the ability to play under pressure and help the team progress closer to the goal of the opposition, but he could not do that. That error then compromised Denis,” Mokwena explained.

Nonetheless, Onyango’s dismissal was not too costly for Downs as they held on to clinch their ninth victory of the season and move nine points clear off Stellenbosch, who they face in their next appointment and the Downs mentor insists that no blame should be apportioned to the veteran goal-minder.

“We make mistakes as Sundowns and we make them together and we take ownership. Like everything, the good moments come with the bad moments and there is always an element of risk that is involved, and that is football. When we make mistakes we never single out any individual because big teams take the pressure, the failures and the success together and that is what we will continue to do.”