Down to guts

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October 26, 2016
Down to guts

SWEET VICTORY: Downs enjoy trophy

Champions won against all odds.

Triumph over adversity.

For those whose English is not so lekker, basically it means to win against all odds.

This is the story of the new champions of Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns.

Even before the date with destiny, Downs, you will remember, weren’t even in the competition until AS Vita were disqualified and the SA side snuck in the back door.

But come the CAF Champions League final second leg against Zamalek, Downs had a few more battles to face off the field.

They didn’t even have a place to train before the match. This is not a new thing for South African teams travelling on the continent. But this time the dirty tricks failed.

Sundowns walked out at the Borg El Arab Stadium for the biggest game of their lives and they were greeted by probably the most hostile atmosphere they have ever experienced.

They were thrown with bottles, their eyes blinded by lasers – which somehow Egyptian fans manage to get away with time and time again and I wonder if CAF will ever step in and stop them.

But Pitso Mosimane’s team are made of yster, it seems.

They handled the crowd and they soaked up the pressure Zamalek had them under from the first whistle.

Thank goodness the referee seemed to also have balls of steel and didn’t make any controversial “home calls”.

Downs lost 1-0 to a 64th minute goal from Stanley Ohawuchi. But it didn’t matter, the job had already been done at home.

There was no fireworks after the final whistle, no ticker tape for the new
champions of the continent.

And there was only a handful of fans in yellow to witness captain Hlompo Kekana lift the trophy, as the stadium emptied out faster than a club after a fight.

But it doesn’t matter.

The history books will show that Sundowns won 3-1 on aggregate.

It will show that a South African team is the best in Africa once more.

There will be massive celebrations still to come.

After all, we have been waiting – 7617 days in fact – since Pirates last won in 1995.

But now SA has a second star.

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