Mamelodi Sundowns wrote their name in the African history books after beating Wydad Athletic Club 2-0 at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday and 3-2 on aggregate to win the AFL final. The Brazilians are the Champions of the African Football League for the first time after its introduction by CAF president Dr Patrice Motsepe in October. Aubrey Modiba’s goal 13 minutes after restart gave the South African side the deserved win over the Moroccans. This is the Brazilians’ third continental title after winning the CAF Champions League in 2016 and the CAF Super Cup in 2017.
Mamelodi Sundowns are taking home massive prize money of $4 million over R72 million, Wydad AC will receive $3mil (R55.6mil) for finishing second, the semi-finalists will receive $1.7mil (R31.5mil), and the quarter-finalists take home $1mil (R18.5mil). They also did a clean sweep at the individual awards, with Ronwen Williams and Thapelo Maseko winning big. After making five appearances in six games, Ronwen Williams was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
Furthermore, Thapelo Maseko took home the top scorer award after scoring two goals. The fast-paced and skillful winger was also named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the competition.
Maseko scored in the quarter-finals against Petro de Luanda in a 2-0 win away from home and went on to score the crucial goal against Al Ahly at Loftus Versfeld.
Coach Rulani Mokwena couldn’t hold his emotion in his post-match interview, giving credit to his player for winning the AFL Cup. “Congratulations to this group of amazing players, I am just very lucky to be their coach, and congratulations to Mamelodi Sundowns. This is for the fans, Mamelodi Sundowns family, and the chairman who has always given me the incredible support”.
When the young coach was asked, what it meant for him personally to win the AFL, he was happy and emotional with his success.