MAMELODI SUNDOWNS ALIGN STARS TO WIN THE INAUGURAL AFRICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE TITLE
Written by Neo Molefi on November 14, 2023
Written by: Kamogelo Mogale
DStv Premiership outfit Mamelodi Sundowns have crowned African Football League champions after defeating Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca 2-0 at the Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria on Sunday. The Brazilians suffered a 2-1 defeat to The Red Castle in the 1st leg at the Stade Mohammed V stadium in Morocco last week and had to overturn the results in Pretoria in order to be crowned champions of the inaugural league.
Downs coach Rhulani Mokwena said that stars are aligned and it was in their hands to win it. “If you look at the teams we played against in this tournament, it’s teams that got the better of us in the CAF Champions League and it was up to us to rectify our mistakes in order for us to be crowned
champions”, said Mokwena.
“After I arrived back to Mamelodi Sundowns, the 1st champions league quarterfinals exit was against Al Ahly, the 2nd quarterfinals exit was to Pedro du Luanda and the editions after that including last season was to Wydad. The story written in this competition had said that we start with Pedro, a rival team that knocked us out of the champions league quarterfinals three seasons ago, then Al Ahly, a foe that knocked us out in the champions league quarterfinals a season before Pedro and then last season was Wydad. Just because its written in the stars doesn’t mean that the stars are aligned. Our responsibility now is to align those stars”, Mokwena further explains.
The Chloorkop based outfit managed to score an important away goal in Morocco which played a vital role in the 2nd leg. Peter Shalulile scored the 1st goal in the dying minutes of the of the first half with Aubrey Modida scoring the 2nd goal in the second half to seal the deal for Sundowns allowing them to be crowned African Football League Champions.
The Brazilians walked away with the trophy that goes with the prize money of $4 million (R75 million). There were also individual awards with Ronwen Williams winning the golden glove award, and Thapelo Maseko winning both top goal scorer of the tournament award and the MVP award.
Having captured the African Football League title, Mamelodi Sundowns will look to emulate the same performance as they shift their focus on the CAF Champions League which will get underway after the current FIFA break with their 1st assignment being a home game against FC Nouadhibou of
Mauritania on Friday the 24th of November at the Loftus Versfeld stadium.