Football

MOKWENA STILL DREAMS OF HISTORIC ‘QUADRUPLE

PIC: Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena

Mamelodi Sundowns are chasing an unprecedented four trophies this season with the Nedbank Cup central to what would be a historic ‘Quadruple’ if they win South Africa’s most prestigious knockout title and the CAF Champions League.

Sundowns are well on course for DStv Premiership honours for a record seventh year in a row. While their victory is not mathematically assured, it would take something absolutely extraordinary for them to be knocked off the top of the table.

They have already claimed the African Football League this season and are through to the semifinals of the Champions League, where they face top Tunisian side Esperance over two legs.
This Friday they face University of Pretoria in the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup, and will be desperate to book a semifinal place there too.  
Should they win the Quadruple, it will elevate the club to greater heights than they have been before and match the exploits of Kaizer Chiefs in 2001/02, though they failed to claim the domestic league title, so it could be argued their feat was not as impressive.

“Who has done it before? As much as we want to do it and as much as we think about the possibility of doing it, it’s a very difficult task,” Mokwena said.

“And you have to think who has done it before. As a youngster, I was probably not even thinking about coaching at that time, and I remember Muhsin Ertugral’s Kaizer Chiefs with Operation Vat Alles (in 2001/02).

“And even then, they didn’t win the league and they had such a good side playing such good football, and I think the Confederation Cup was still called Mandela Cup.

“That already tells you how difficult it is trying to win every single trophy. We have to go game-by-game and try to establish ourselves in every competition and put ourselves in the next round of every tournament.”

Mokwena has seamlessly continued winning trophies for Sundowns since the exit of Pitso Mosimane, including the 2022 Nedbank Cup, when he was co-coach along with Manqoba Mngqithi.
Now the main man in charge, Mokwena is making his own history and remains as ambitious as ever in both the Nedbank Cup and the domestic league.

“We want to try and leave the jersey better than we found it. The level is very high. Under the previous coach (Mosimane), the group was more relentless than we are,” he said.

“There is a points tally that no-one has broken (71 in a 30-game league season). We tried last season and we fell one point short. We’ve not won the Champions League yet. We have to try to serve this club with dignity and pride.”

Sundowns have lifted the Nedbank Cup trophy four times since 2008, including the inaugural year of Nedbank’s sponsorship, 2015, 2020 and 2022, when they beat Marumo Gallants 2-1 after extra-time in the decider.

SOURCED FROM THE NEDBANK CUP WEBSITE.

https://www.nedbankcup.co.za/media/otofud5o/news-screen-left-arrow.jpg

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