Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has addressed the uncomfortable incident that involved Andile Jali from their MTN8 semi-final first-leg against Orlando Pirates.
Jali was one of the main talking points from that game, particulaly on social media, after he was made to tumble badly to the ground by the dribble from Monnapule Saleng.
The former Pirates midfielder’s incident went viral on social media and there were suggestions therefore that he had a bad game.
However, Mngqithi says he does not believe he underperformed as such and they substituted him in that match just to inject speed in their passing game.
“Andile is a big boy, he’s not a small boy and to be honest I don’t think he played bad in the previous match, I just think when we wanted to inject a little bit of intensity,” Mngqithi told journalists in a press conference ahead of the second-leg on Saturday.
“We made a choice of taking him out but it was not necessarily because he had a bad performance and when you say he was humbled, I think maybe you’re talking about what Saleng did to him.
“But the truth of the matter is in football you can expect the same thing, he also did the same thing inside of our box and dribbled the opponents there and the opponents were not humbled?” he quipped.
“You know, it’s football, so we must accept sometimes in football that in the line of duty you will either be dribbled or you will either be embarrassed but that’s the line of duty,” he said.
“If you’re a teacher you must expect that you might get dirty because of chalk in your hands and if you’re in football you might get injured, you might get dribbled, you might get embarrassed,” he went on.
“In one way or another or you might concede a stupid goal as a goalkeeper, it happens in football so I’m not even perturbed about what happened to him because I know he’s a very strong boy and a very strong character.
“That he is probably itching for the next assignment which is probably very good and it plays to our advantage,” he added.
Jali has not featured for Sundowns since he was substituted against Pirates in the first-leg.
The veteran midfielder was left out of the Brazilians’ back-to-back CAF Champions League matches against La Passe.
The 32-year old was also an unused substitute in Sundowns’ narrow win over Marumo Gallants on Wednesday.