COACH RULANI REACTS TO FORMIDABLE VICTORY IN AFL FINAL

Mamelodi Sundowns have been basking in their triumph after edging out Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca with a 2-0 scoreline (3-2 on aggregate) in the second leg of the inaugural African Football League final. Masandawana drubbed their counterparts through the goals of Peter Shalulile, who just returned from a long injury break, as well as the Postman, Aubrey Modiba.

Reviewing the decider, Coach Rulani expressed his gratitude to the Yellow Nation for their extreme support, as well as everyone in the club that worked effortlessly behind the scenes, to ensure that the team is well taken care of.

“Let me first start by congratulating the entire football club, it really isn’t a one man show. I just have to account for the results, but the reality is to get to the final, we needed an incredible performance against Al Ahly in the semi-final at home, and the Yellow Nation was behind us all the way. Today, once again, they made an incredible contribution when they sang and supported the boys throughout the 90 minutes. For that, we are extremely grateful to them and we thank them for their love and support,” he said.

“I also have to thank the technical team. We have got a very hardworking group. To go all the way to the group of analysts we have, the conditioning department as well as the rehabilitation group. To work on Peter Shalulile and Lucas Ribeiro and just to try and perform a miracle. This is why I say this is not a one-man show, they all worked really hard. Of course, the leader of the club, the Chairman. This is a special one for him and we are dedicating it to him for his support. In the good moments and the bad moments, he has been there to support us and we just want to thank him,” Coach Rulani continued.

Bafana Ba Style scored six goals in the league and received three individual awards. Ronwen Williams was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament, while Thapelo Maseko, who turned 20 just two days before the final, scooped the Player of the Tournament and Top Goal Scorer awards. Speaking on the hard work his players have displayed throughout the tournament, Coach Rulani spoke highly of them and thanked them for their sacrifices. He stated, “I run out of words when I have to speak about our group of players. I thank God for this opportunity to lead this club and be part of this magnificent group and to be their coach because these players have backed me. I pushed them so hard, we work really hard and they make so many sacrifices. I want to thank them and their families who don’t get to spend a lot of time with them. I also want to thank my family for the support they have been giving me. Once again, I would like to thank this group of players for working hard and delivering this trophy.”

When asked about the other league and cup games and whether the team will be able to maintain the hard work to lift the remaining and available trophies this season, the Masandawana Coach stated that his side will not drop the ball as he has seen their dedication to the club.

“As I walked on the stage, Dr Patrice Motsepe congratulated me, and as I walked to the FIFA President, Mr Gianni Infantino, what he said to me was, “your team plays magnificent football.” Like I always say, the game of football belongs to the players. We have been asked whether we will change our style of play, it’s very difficult because this club has a certain identity and we have to try by all means to always play well. We are not always going to win every game because football by nature, is a low scoring game,” he stated.

“When we lost 2-1 in Casablanca, we had a training session the next day with a couple of players that didn’t play and I can tell you, we trained like a team that had just lost 5-0. The mentality of the likes of Rushine de Rueck, Dennis Onyango and Neo Maema in that training session was just unbelievable. This is what makes this group so special, their sense of brotherhood, loyalty and commitment to this badge. Don’t worry, there will be no sense of complacency, I will not allow it,” he continued

With the AFL being done and dusted this season, Downs will now shift their focus to the CAF Champions League group stages that will commence in a week.

4 Responses
  1. Dalom

    Well done to the boyz and the technical team. Even though I didn’t give them a chance to overcome Wydad, I still went to the stadium 🏟️ to give them the much needed support. The stadium 🏟️ was so packed I didn’t even know enjoy the game. I was so hot especially for us who were seated in the eastern stand. I really felt for the players and credit must to to the boyz for giving their all under those punishing conditions.

  2. Muzi Kunene

    Good win and thanks to all that is associated with Downs especially our lovely coach whom was kept on insulted that he didn’t won anything he inherited Pitso’s squad he failed at Bucs and Chippa.
    Once something associated with Downs is hated even Pitso was like that but now they want him to their teams is how We the Africans jealous each other especially when someone is progressive.
    Let’s continue with our dominance on Dstv and since we gonna nobody ever overtake us in terms of points but they’re busy talking bad about us,shame on them.Kby forever

  3. Mfana

    Sundowns must create a Hall of Fame and Peter Shalulile is one of our GOAT.Khuliso Mudau what a player that covers every blade of the grass.Tebogo Mokena,Modiba, Ronwen u played ur lungs out.Rhulani Mokoena we thought a curse &bad luck was following u.That u were unable to win cup competitions,you were so under pressure from us as supporters to bring us this miracle.I saw the emotions from my coach at the end of the game that a huge burden has been lifted off your shoulders . I’m not congratulating anyone today except you my coach.You deserved this accolade, it’s your hard work.Nangamso coach…

  4. Jero

    Good day Yellow Nation. It has not sink in yet .Congratulations to the Yellow Nation. Beating those 2 power houses of African Football that is not Chlid play.

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