Ethiopia club used intel gathered from Supersport TV to frustrate Sundowns
Marc Strydom | 2017-05-14 13:31:20.0
Image by: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI
Saint George coach Mart Nooij said that due to the presence of South African sports channel SuperSport in Ethiopia there was nothing about Mamelodi Sundowns that surprised him in Saturday’s 0-0 Caf Champions League draw.
Defending champions Downs got off to a poor start in the 2017 round-robin stage with a draw at home against arguably the weakest team in Group B.
With a long way to go in the group‚ early leaders and the hugely experienced continental campaigners Esperance de Tunis appear to have the advantage‚ having started with a 3-1 home win against AS Vita Club on Friday night.
Nooij said watching Downs regularly on SuperSport had helped him in his preparations for the match against a flat Brazilians at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
“Due to your television station DStv and SuperSport we can see everything that Sundowns do. So I was not surprised‚ no‚” Nooij said.
Nooij‚ who was in charge of Cape Town’s Santos in 2012 when they were relegated from the Absa Premiership via the playoffs‚ said his experience coaching in South Africa had also helped him.
“Yes of course it helped‚” he said.
“But also I have been a coach in Africa for 17 years now‚ in six countries. So I have more international experience than all my players together.
“And they pick it up from me. So we are happy.
“I am a Dutch coach. And in our education match analysis is very important. So I analyse with my own network.
“We send somebody to every match. So there was somebody in Tunis.”
The sound of loud celebrations emanating from the St George change-room after the game showed their delight at the unexpected result they had achieved.
“This draw for us is a victory‚” Nooij said.
“We played an opponent with a certain level of ball-passing and running tempo that we are not used to in Ethiopia.
“So for my players it was a huge adaptation and I am proud that they stemmed Sundowns and we could even have had several good breakouts.
“In my opinion we played very structured and organised.”
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport
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