Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has admitted that he felt truly humbled by the special welcome he received from Wydad Athletic Club fans at a packed Stade Mohamed V on Sunday.
Masandawana lost the first leg of the inaugural African Football League (AFL) final 2-1 in Casablanca on Sunday, but have it all to play for in the second leg at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday.
Ahead of the game, Mokwena share a special moment with the home crowd, who embraced him and parts of his technical team.
“I was humbled by [it], I really didn’t expect the welcome from the Wydad fans,” Mokwena said when asked about the scene.
“Them clapping and chanting and embracing me was surprising but extremely humbling. This is something I received with a lot of humility and appreciation.
“And I’m truly, truly humbled by that.”
Mokwena then discussed losing his first CAF inter-club competition match in 17 outings as sole head coach, and insisted that the tie is not over despite the defeat.
“Sometimes we also forget that this is our first defeat in continental competitions, and it’s something with the words that you said, you remind us of that,” he added.
“But because we have such high ambitions we feel the defeat so much.
“What will be the difference in the second leg? We willl see. We have to plan out, just try to recover the players, try to get to South Africa as quickly as we possibly can, try to give the players a lot of rest, try to make sure that they understand that it’s not over.
“We still have a second leg to play, 90 minutes in Pretoria. And we’ll do everything that we can to make sure that we are champions at the end of the day.”
Sundowns welcome Wydad at Loftus Versfeld at 15:00 on Sunday, with $4 million (R73 million) in prize money up for grabs, while the runners-up will receive $3 million (R55 million).