The KwaZulu-Natal club have had a miserable start to the season but showed great character to earn a point against the defending champions
Maritzburg United player Kwanda Mngonyama has revealed what his coach Ernst Middendorp instructed him to do on Saturday night in the 1-1 league draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
The point was the first of the season for the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) side in what was their sixth match.
It came via Mngonyama’s expertly taken header on the hour mark, following a Dan Morgan corner kick.
Sundowns had taken the lead on 31 minutes through Themba Zwane and had also enjoyed several other good opportunities to score.
Mngonyama was named Man-of-the-Match after a storming display up and down the right flank for the Team of Choice on a rainy night in the KZN capital city.
His high energy approach was designed to take advantage of Sundowns left-back Lyle Lakay’s preference for pushing forward.
“I would like to thank my coach and I would like to thank my team-mates, because you could see we’ve got a plan from the start, we’re structured. Coach gave us instructions on how to approach the match,” Mngonyama told SuperSport TV after the game.
“We knew that they are going to come at us, and their wings, they are always pushing high. So they are going to be always leaving space on the side. So I was ready and prepared to run on the their left, because Lakay, we knew he’s going to push high.”
Mngonyama has worked with Middendorp before at Maritzburg and is pleased to be working with him again, following the departure of previous coach Eric Tinkler two weeks ago.
“When the coach gives you a chance, you have to grab it, take it. I really appreciate the opportunity, he always wants us to work hard, to push each and every training session,” Mngonyama explained.
“So it’s not a new thing for me, I’ve worked with him before. I know what he expects from me. You can see progress, the self-belief is back. So we are looking forward to keep on going.”