Sundowns had an 'incredible' season despite CAF failure

'We kept more clean sheets and broke more records'

13 May 2022 - 07:05
By Neville Khoza
Rulani Mokwena, co- coach of Mamelodi Sundowns
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Rulani Mokwena, co- coach of Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has emphasised that the outcome of their CAF Champions League failure this season should not distract from the fact that they had an exceptional season.  

Mokwena admitted that they have failed in the Champions League after losing to Petro de Luanda in the quarterfinal despite being one of the favourites to clinch the title following their impressive run in the group stages.

The coach said this season is even better than the last, having already clinched the MTN8 and the DStv Premiership title with a few matches to spare and they are in the Nedbank Cup final. 

“We all speak about the Champions League as a failure, as something of course some of us are not proud of 100% and that is the most important thing if you look at the most successful people in the world,” Mokwena explained to the media in Chloorkop yesterday.

“They don’t run away from their failures, they don’t shy away. They appreciate their failures and embrace their failures. By embracing their failures, they can get a kick on and use that energy that they receive from what football is and give you to be able to propel themselves to a different dimension.

“Because we bombed out from the Champions League everybody now starts to forget that by the way, we’ve had an incredible season where we scored more goals than last season.

“We kept more clean sheets and broke more records with regards to that. Our performance level throughout the season has been extremely consistent and probably the most we ever had at Sundowns for the last five or six years.”

Beating Al Ahly home and away in the Champions League is some of the achievements Mokwena spoke about yesterday.

Even though he admitted that beating the Red Devils and not winning the title means nothing, he insists that this shows the excellent campaign they have had as they made history.

“Of course, those things don’t mean anything in the greater scheme of things, but the reality is like I was speaking about the process. Part of the process is winning even the invincible sort of victories so that you create a culture that allows you to win bigger and greater things.

“We should not forget the incredible season we had and that should not be undermined by one competition. If you don’t do well in the competition that does not mean you had a bad season. 

“The hope [for winning the Champions League] was created because of our performance of these players.”