On Sundowns’ CAF Champions Exit
It’s very sad that Mamelodi Sundowns were knocked out of the CAF Champions League after playing to a 2-2 draw against Wydad Casablanca. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that Wydad eliminated Sundowns because of experience and I don’t agree with that because Sundowns have been playing this competition for more than 13 years. I just think that when Sundowns scored the second goal, they were supposed to make substitutions. There were players that were supposed to play but did not play. Somebody was needed to kill the game and Andile Jali could have played an important role on the day. Grant Kekana should have been brought on after Peter Shalulile scored the second goal. Gaston Sirino should have played an important role in that match, that is just my feeling. The players lost, they cried and showed that they value the CAF Champions League, but at the end of the day, there must never be any fingers pointed at the players. The leadership – meaning the technical staff – should take the blame for losing the game. There were seven minutes remaining and when the own goal was scored, they pushed too high. It was an unfortunate situation and Mothobi Mvala did not score the own goal deliberately. No player wants to score against his own team. His body positioning was not in a position where he could take the ball out. I’m not sure what happened with communication between him and Ronwen Williams because I could see that the ball was going to the keeper’s hands. But football is a game of mistakes. If football did not have mistakes, it would not be interesting. The reason why we enjoy football, it is because of mistakes. If players were not able to make mistakes, we were always going to see draws. For us to see goals, there must be mistakes done on the day. Unfortunately, it happened on the day we hoped, as Sundowns legends, that we were going to have the team in the third CAF Champions League final. It’s unfortunate. The technical team did not point fingers at any player, but as an individual, I still feel that there were players that were supposed to play on the day that were never played.