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Rulani Mokwena touched by Wydad fans’ warmth

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Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena was touched by the warmth of Wydad Athletic Club fans at a packed Stade Mohamed V on Sunday. 

Mamelodi Sundowns were in Morocco for the first leg of the African Football League final against Wydad, and Mokwena was given a special welcome by the home fans.

Sundowns suffered a 2-1 defeat thanks to an own goal by Rivaldo Coetzee and a late strike by Anas Serrhat.

Abdelmonem Boutouil scored the one away goal for Sundowns on the penalty spot.

As Mokwena walked out of the tunnel, he was greeted by thunderous applause from the Wydad fans. 

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena in Casablanca


“I was humbled by it (hero’s welcome). I didn’t expect the welcome from the Wydad fans,” said Mokwena.

“Them clapping and chanting and embracing me was surprising but extremely humbling. 

“This is something I received with a lot of humility and appreciation. And I’m truly, truly humbled by that.”

Meanwhile, Mokwena shared his thoughts on losing his first CAF inter-club competition match in 17 outings as sole head coach.

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He remained defiant, insisting that the tie was not over despite the loss. 

“Sometimes we also forget that this is our first defeat in continental competitions, and it’s something with the words that you said. You remind us of that,” added Mokwena.

“But because we have such high ambitions, we feel the defeat so much. What will be the difference in the second leg? We will see. 

“Mamelodi Sundowns have to plan out, just try to recover the players, try to get to South Africa as quickly as we possibly can, try to give the players a lot of rest, try to make sure that they understand that it’s not over.

“We still have a second leg to play, 90 minutes in Pretoria. And we’ll do everything that we can to make sure that we are champions at the end of the day.”

Mokwena’s troops will host Wydad in the second leg of the AFL final at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

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