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Rulani – What I Told My Players Ahead Of Penalty Shootout

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has revealed what he told his players ahead of their penalty shootout against Young Africans.

Masandawana were held to a goalless draw by Yanga, taking the tie to penalties after it ended goalless over 180 minutes.

Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams turned into the hero once more, saving two Yanga spot-kicks, while Marcelo Allende, Lucas Ribeiro and Neo Maema calmly slotted home for Mokwena’s men.

After the match, the Sundowns coach praised his club’s fans, saying he told his players it’s important for them to give back because it’s not cheap to attend games.

“I thought the turnout was very very good, can it be better, yes? It’s like our performance, can it be better? Yes. But you have to praise [the fans] it’s not easy on a Friday night, and of course with some of the social ills we face for our people, not being able to always afford the tickets, not being able to afford the transport fare,” he said.

“It’s a very extensive expenditure to attend football matches and sometimes we neglect that but of course if they make such an effort to come out and support this team… which is one of the things I said when we went to the penalty shootouts.

“I said [we won’t lose] in front of our people and not after the efforts they’ve made to come out and support you, no chance. And the boys responded to that, I’m happy they made the supporters happy, they deserve it.

“The one thing about Sundowns supporters and maybe it’s because of the investment, they love this club but they suffer with the team, too much. When the team suffers, they go with it and that’s football and the Champions League you can’t dominate every single second of the match.”

Sundowns will now face the winner between ASEC Mimosas and Experance Tunis in the semi-final.

David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.