The long wait is finally over, South African football giants Mamelodi Sundowns have made history, crowned as the African champions for 2016 after beating Egypt’s Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate.
Sundowns claimed their maiden CAF Champions League trophy after narrowly losing to Zamalek by a goal to nil in Alexandria, but AmaSandawana got the elusive star after beating Zamalek on aggregate after a remarkable first leg triumph in Atteridgeville.
Sundowns’ first leg 3-0 win proved insurmountable for Zamalek despite the five time champions league winners dominating proceedings. The Egyptian giants got their only goal of the final from Stanley Ohawuchi, who scored a brilliant long-range strike, giving Zamalek some hope.
Pitso Mosimane’s men held on despite facing a barrage of attacks from Zamalek to claim their maiden continental honours.
With the remarkable win Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane becomes the first South African coach to guide a club to continental glory. Scottish coach Joe Frickleton led Orlando Pirates to the country’s first success in the 1995 Champions Cup.
With the continental success Sundowns received $1.5 million and the Champions booked their place at the FIFA Club World Cup to be held in Japan in December.
South Africans are celebrating the historic achievement having endured 21 years without a South African club lifting the trophy. Mamelodi Sundowns came close in 2001 when they finished as runner ups, after losing 4-1 to the most successful African team in the competition, Egyptian giants Al-Ahly who have won the trophy a record eight times (runner-ups twice).
A hearty congratulations to Sundowns on the historic achievement.