We are coming for it all again next season, says Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the team will be a force again next season, after they secured their second domestic treble in three seasons.
After competing in and winning the final of the Nedbank Cup versus Marumo Gallants on Saturday, Mamelodi Sundowns achieved the rare feat of playing in every domestic game possible in a single season.
Sundowns lifted the Nedbank Cup for the second time in three seasons following their 2-1 victory over a gallant Gallants in extra time. The game had ended one-all in regulation time.
Thapelo Morena scored right at the death against a 10-man Gallants to hand Masandawana a third trophy in the 2021/22 campaign.
The undisputed South African champions had already cruised to a fifth DStv Premiership crown in a row, while they were triumphant in the season-opening MTN8.
Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi lauded his players for securing a second domestic treble in three seasons – after managing the feat in the 2019/20 season.
“This season we tried to have a squad that was complete, by our standards. That could play almost every player within the group, without fear,” he said.
“When those players who have participated in all these competitions get to lift all these trophies, we are thankful to all of them.
“Because at Sundowns, if you look at the number of matches we have played [this season], you will realise that we’re on match number 47. That is not easy for our team, with a lot of travelling in between.”
At the Premier Soccer League (PSL) awards on Sunday night, Mngqithi was rewarded with the Coach of the Season accolade for the team’s achievements this season – alongside his partner in Downs’ domestic domination, Rulani Mokwena.
Following Sundowns’ Nedbank Cup success, the 51-year-old told journalists that his team is aiming for another clean sweep in the 2022/23 season.
This includes the Caf Champions League, where the Tshwane giants were surprisingly brought to their knees by Angola’s Petro Atlético in the quarterfinals.
“Next season we’re going again. We’re going for the same Champions League, which was our only dent this season.”
One of the vital cogs in the Sundowns machinery, veteran goalkeeper Denis Onyango, echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“We’ll keep grinding and getting the results. We have to be competitive every season. That’s why the guys have managed to win three trophies this season,” the Ugandan told journalists.
The R30-million windfall from all the domestic silverware they claimed this season will once again hand Masandawana a huge advantage in the transfer market as they search for further reinforcements that might help the club to claim only their second Champions League title.
They won the coveted continental trophy in 2016, under the guidance of Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane. DM