Zamalek tactician Moemen Soliman provided few excuses after his side’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of South African club Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg of the 2016 CAF Champions League final in Pretoria on Saturday.
Goals from Anthony Laffor, Tebogo Langerman and an own goal by Islam Gamal ensured the impressive win for the home side at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
The 42-year-old coach has only been in charge of the Egyptian giants since August, and he believes that this has not been enough time to allow his football philosophy to bear fruit at the Cairo club.
He illustrated his point by praising Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, and suggesting that the superior play on offer from the Brazilians was due to sufficient time spent learning the former Bafana coach’s methods and ideas.
‘Of course, I admire the work of the coach (Pitso) Mosimane. I know that the football they gave us is fantastic football. You need a long time to do this,’ Soliman told the media at a press conference after the game.
‘I haven’t had the luxury of that time, to impose my philosophy. I’ve had just two and a half months with the players and just 20 sessions from the day I came into the club. I didn’t have time. Time is my enemy now,’ he added.
Zamalek will now need to overturn the deficit in their home leg this coming weekend, but a tactically astute Mosimane will implement a game plan to thwart the Egyptians and hold on for their first CAF Champions League title.
The Egyptians will no doubt use lasers, intimidation and a possible pitch invasion in an effort to rattle Sundowns, but the South Africans are well on their way to earning the first star on their jersey come October 23.