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CAF Champions League

Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena: Not winning Caf Champions League will be a failure

6:21 am AEDT 7/10/22
Rhulani Mokwena Mamelodi Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained what would be classified as a failed season for the Tshwane giants.
  • It has been six years since Downs last won the Champions League
  • The have been reaching the quarter-finals or last four in recent seasons
  • They now give it another try

WHAT HAPPENED? After dominating domestic football in recent seasons, Sundowns have been struggling to win the Caf Champions League. It is now six years since they were crowned African champions and it is the only trophy eluding them. They even impressed in the group stage, reaching the quarter-finals with games to spare and tipped as favourites but falter in the knockout phase. The Brazilians can now give it another shot, starting with this weekend’s first round, first leg clash against La Passe from Seychelles.

WHAT THEY SAID: “It [to win the Champions League] has always been the aim, drive and focus of the club,” said Mokwena as per IOL. “That’s why if we don’t get close to that, for me, it’s a failure. The club wants to be there where we are competing and want to win games. We’ll go again, and try our level best to be in a space to win in the end.

“Competitions like the Champions League are not played when you play the semi-final or the final. They are won in the first game of pre-season and the league where you start plotting a winning mentality going into the season. I don’t think for the players there’s fear. Once you start thinking about fear, you are already thinking about failure. We try to be optimistic.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Since 2016, Masandwana have not reached the Champions League final. They are keen to turn their domestic supremacy into continental glory and return to the Fifa Club World Cup.


WHAT NEXT FOR SUNDOWNS? Sundowns now prepare to clash with La Passe at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday. Ironically, the team from Seychelles will be the home side after they opted to play this match in South Africa following Caf’s disapproval of their home ground.