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HomeAfrican FootballMokwena Heaps Praise On Downs After Ahly Draw In Cairo

Mokwena Heaps Praise On Downs After Ahly Draw In Cairo

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has heaped praise on the club’s technical team and staff and singled out Thapelo Morena after his goal against Al Ahly.

Sundowns played to a thrilling 2-2 draw against the Egyptian giants at Al Salam Stadium that keeps them six points ahead of Ahly – who have a game in hand.

Peter Shalulile opened the scoring in the opening half, while Ronwen Williams saved a penalty before the home side scored in quick succession to take the lead through Mohamed Abdelmonem and Hussein El Shahat.

But Morena, who was introduced as a second-half substitute grabbed a late equaliser to secure a vital away point against the record ten-time African champions.

“Congratulations to both of the teams for putting in a very good performance, I think the crowd enjoyed the four goals, two very good sides on the pitch,” Mokwena said in the post-match press conference.

“And congratulations to my players because it was a very difficult game against a very good side and a team that made us work very very hard for the point. We wanted to get three points but it was not easy against Al Ahly.

“You have to give them a lot of respect, so congratulations to the players, very proud of their effort.”

Mokwena admits leaving the Morena has been a challenge, with the utility man having nine goal contributions this season and showing some impressive form.

Khuliso Mudau has made the right full-back position his own over the last 12 months but the former Bloemfontein Celtic man is pushing hard to force his way back into the team, featuring at left-back, winger, and even a forward at times.

“Two things that I think I have to say, which are important… one is congratulations to Thapelo Morena, it was difficult to have him on the bench. He’s been very good for us and then he comes in with an important goal to make it 2-2, incredible attitude, incredible human being, top footballer,” he continued.

“And then the second thing is the technical staff, my staff worked very very hard on this game, very very hard. From Goolam and Khaled in terms of the advanced [team], to the analysts, Sbu, Mario, Dale… incredible investment, we watched seven, eight games.

“This morning we watched another two [Al Ahly] games, congratulations to the coaches, coach Manqoba, coach Steve, coach Michael – so congratulations to the staff, and when I say staff I mean medical team, support staff, Flemming [Berg], everyone involved.

“We wanted three, we got one – we had the better chances in my opinion and yeah, we take the one and we move.”

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.