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Mokwena Refuses To Address Penalty Controversy

Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Rulani Mokwena says he can’t comment on Denis Onyango’s last penalty save but praised the goalkeeper for his heroics.

Masandawana were crowned 2021 MTN8 Champions after beating Cape Town City 3-2 on penalties after the score was 1-1 after 120 minutes on Saturday at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

However, there were some complaints from football fans, saying Thamsanqa Mkhize’s final penalty should have been a re-take as they believe Onyango stepped off his line before the ball was kicked.

Mokwena, however, refused to comment on the issue, saying he didn’t see anything.

“I haven’t seen it, so I can’t really comment on it. I can’t comment on it,” he told reporters.

“I have been told that he was way off his line, but I’m not going to comment on that because I didn’t see it.”

Mokwena, though, didn’t hold back when trying to find praise for the Downs goalkeeper.

“We trust Denis Onyango and I had a little bit of a chat between him and me before the penalty shootout. A couple of words were spoken and that stays between him and me, but he is a beast,” he added.

“Denis always comes to the rescue of the team. There was a big save even in the first half on transition and he kept us in the game but that is why he is one the best on the African continent.

“Time and time again he pulls through for the team and we’ve seen him do this so many times and, in the moment, where we need him to be brave and fight for the team that’s what he did.

“That sort of energy galvanised the rest of the group in believing and giving hope to the team and that is what we look for in our senior players because they have the quality to contribute.

“But as I said, it is a collective effort. This is a very good team and in difficult moments we stay together and fight. Kudos to Denis for the well-deserved man of the match award.”

Sundowns will now shift their focus to the DStv Premiership as they face Maritzburg United on Wednesday at Loftus Versveld Stadium at 17:30

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