John Maduka reveals how he outsmarted Mamelodi Sundowns


Bloemfontein Celtic earned a surprise victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 quarterfinals however, according to Phunya Sele Sele head coach John Maduka, the victory was far from surprising.

Not many would have given John Maduka’s men a chance against a star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns outfit. Despite losing Pitso Mosimane during the off-season, Mamelodi Sundowns on paper are still definitely the league’s strongest team however they were made to look like an extremely average side by Celtic.

The acquisition of the likes of league top scorer Peter Shalulile, Kermit Erasmus, Haashim Domingo and Ricardo Goss amongst others meant that the financially troubled PSL side, Bloemfontein Celtic were heading into this weekend’s action as the underdogs.

We knew we’d win – John Maduka

John Maduka was somewhat pushed into the Bloemfontein Celtic hot-seat during the closing stages of the 2019/20 PSL campaign following the abrupt departure of Lehlohonolo Seema and he hasn’t disappointed.

The 50-year-old outsmarted ex Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp during a league defining clash last season while Maritzburg United’s Eric Tinkler was also on the receiving end of a Maduka masterclass.

Mamelodi Sundowns’ trio of Manqoba Mngqithi, Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela were his latest victims over the weekend and the Bloemfontein Celtic manager has provided the blue print on how to defeat the defending champions.

“What we did was to allow them to have the ball, we drop a bit so that we can be able to use the space behind their defence and we defended well, that’s one thing we wanted to make sure of, make sure that we defend well. If we defend well, we knew that at the end of the day we’ll be able to win the game.” – John Maduka said.

“The first half where we were losing it is that we couldn’t keep the ball a little bit longer in the final third and as a result we ended up getting frustrated, immediately our wing-backs go so support the strikers you find that our strikers don’t keep the ball well, we lose the ball.

“So at half-time we tried to tell them that let’s try to keep the ball a little bit longer and let’s try to to keep it in their half, we knew that if we’re able to do that, we were waiting for that moment and that moment came and we got the goal.”

Maduka’s record at Celtic as head coach

  • Games managed: 10
  • Victories: 4
  • Draws: 5
  • Defeats: 1
  • Goals scored: 14
  • Goals conceded: 7

Bloemfontein Celtic and John Maduka next turn their attention to Golden Arrows who they face in their opening DStv Premiership clash on Saturday afternoon at the Seisa Ramabodu stadium. Protection Status


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