Friday, June 21, 2024
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Sundowns Lift Historic AFL Title

Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned champions of the inaugural African Football League after a 3-2 aggregate win over Wydad Athletic Club at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday afternoon.

Head coach Rulani Mokwena said it was ‘written in the stars’ that they would win the continental trophy after their 2-1 loss against Wydad in the first leg in Casablanca.

This is due to facing the side who knocked them out of the CAF Champions League semi-final last season, and beating Al Ahly and Petro de Luanda en route to the AFL final – who knocked them out the Champions League in the two previous seasons.

And he lived up to that inspiring team talk, as he masterminded a tactical masterclass over Adil Ramzi with the help of Peter Shalulile and Lucas Ribeiro Costa’s returns from injury.

While neither were at their fluent best, Shalulile was the one to find the opener and the inspirational Teboho Mokoena created something out of nothing and his rasping effort was rebounded Youssef El Motie for the Namibian to slot home and send the capacity crowd into ecstacy in the blazing heat in Tshwane.

It set the tone for the second half as the home side took control and looked to have choked the life out of the visitors, none more so than when Aubrey Modiba showed extreme composure to chip ball beyond an onrushing El Motie just seven minutes after the break.

Sundowns carved out several more chances after that but were unable to add further to the scoreline as the game finished 2-0 and 3-2 on aggregate for victory, etching their name into African football history.

By: Lorenz Köhler at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.