The African champions were gunned down 2-0 by the J-league champions in the quarterfinals of the Fifa Club World Cup at the Suita City Football Stadium in Osaka on Sunday
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane felt it was a game of two-halves and rued the missed chances they fluffed, particularly in the first half to seal the contest.
“It was a very good game. A game of two halves. I’m disappointed with the result but I’m not disappointed about the performance. But we should have killed the game in the first half,” Mosimane said post-match.
“We didn’t finish our chances. We showed a little bit off inexperience in the match, particularly in the final third. We have a little bit of work to do,” Mosimane said.
They will now contest Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai in the fifth/sixth final on Wednesday, and Mosimane says they have to bounce back and fight again.
We need to come back and fight again. We were a little bit out-muscled and we didn’t expect a physical team. Otherwise, I would have played the team differently. But we played well,” Mosimane said.
The defeat is in all aspects a learning curve for them in a game that Mosimane admits he enjoyed all facets in which it was played from both sides in front of a buoyant home crowd coupled with a few travelling Downs supporters.
“I enjoyed the game, the flow of it, the speed, the passing, the technique. There’s a few lessons we can take,” Mosimane said.
This was both sides debut appearance at the competition and for the hosts a place in the final is at stake, provided they get past South American champions Atletico Nacional in the semi-finals on Thursday.