Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has issued a public apology to forward Pavol Safranko after being substituted in the 75th minute of the club’s victory over Baroka FC.
Sundowns fell to ten when Kermit Erasmus received his marching orders in the first half timeout and Mokwena insists the change was tactical.
Mokwena apologizes to Safranko after replacement
Safranko had replaced injured Peter Shalulile in the 25th minute, but with scores still tied and 15 to go, Mokwena and his company called on defender Ricardo Nascimento to replace him.
In the end, Themba Zwane found a winner and Sundowns broke the 40-point mark, but the coach said he was disgusted at having to remove Safranko to restore Sundowns to form.
“We apologize to Pavol because he is a very, very good person,” Mokwena said after the match in an interview with Supersport Television.
“He’s a gentle giant and it broke our hearts to take him out, especially since he had come as a replacement.
“You know footballers really don’t like it, but being a man with the red car made it worse.
“We unfortunately had to do what is best for the club.
“It’s a shame and it’s not nice to do that to a player, we don’t like it because we love our football players but at the same time we also have a big responsibility to do what is best for the club. “
Sunsets sit pretty
The Sundowns are the league’s runaway leaders and although several teams still claim to be in the title race, few would bet against the Brazilians winning an unprecedented fifth consecutive Premier Soccer League title.
Peter Shalulile’s injury and the upcoming suspension of Kermit Erasmus mean Safranko should have playing time before Christmas.
Mamelodi Sundowns will host the Orlando Pirates in a championship clash at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Friday on their next assignment.
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