Pretoria - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has defended the club's unhappy supporters after the team’s performance in their opening PSL game of the season.
The Brazilians were held to a 1-1 draw by Maritzburg United at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening.
Katlego Mashego scored for the hosts in the opening minutes but the goal was cancelled out by a Mohammed Awal penalty in the dying minutes of the league’s opening game.
“We have to respect the fans. They pay our salaries, they say whatever they have to say, they have the right and if we didn’t win, they are not happy,” Mosimane said.
“We should understand. They are our bosses, so they are right not to be happy because we didn’t win.
“They only want a win, if there’s no win, you can become a bad coach overnight… one game. If we win, they would never talk the way they talk.”
Sundowns’ supporters headed towards the tunnel to voice their discontent at Mosimane and the rest of the team after missing out when Sundowns had looked comfortable throughout the game and led 1-0 until the 87th minute.
Referee Victor Gomes’ dubious decision to award the visitors a late spot kick did not sit well with Mosimane, who watched as Awal converted to seal a point.
“I don’t know what happened with Gomes… maybe it was a penalty, I don’t know,” Mosimane said.
“Where I’m standing, it’s too far. But what I know is that Mame (Niang) went up with the guy, in fact Mame went up first. If you go up first, I don’t know if you can foul.”
Meanwhile, United coach Steve Komphela said he was encouraged by his outfit’s solid performance, particularly after going a goal down with less than 90 seconds on the clock.
“We conceded too early a goal. The guys were still sleeping, we were still in the dressing-room,” Komphela said.
“With the equaliser, you could see how we were fighting and looking for the ball. On the back of this performance, you can only look forward to a brighter future.
"I was happy for the youngsters, some of them were boarding a plane for the first time but they came and played against the champions and they still have a good account of themselves.”