Themba Zwane: Mamelodi Sundowns Coach Rulani Mokwena Reflects on Captain’s Absence vs Young Africans

Themba Zwane: Mamelodi Sundowns Coach Rulani Mokwena Reflects on Captain’s Absence vs Young Africans

Robert Abong'o
April 1, 2024 at 6:43 AM
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Mamelodi Sundowns
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CAF Champions League
  • Mamelodi Sundowns drew 0-0 with Yanga in the CAF Champions League
  • Sundowns played without the suspended Bafana midfielder Themba Zwane
  • Coach Rulani Mokwena praised the team's effort despite missing their captain

While reflecting on the 0-0 draw against Young Africans SC, Mamelodi Sundowns head coach, Rulani Mokwena, has acknowledged the absence of Themba Zwane.

In their CAF Champions League quarter-final first-leg match in Dar es Salaam, Sundowns faced Young Africans without their captain, who was suspended.

Despite this setback, Mokwena commended his players' commitment, particularly in the second half.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder, Themba Zwane.. Photo: Phill Magakoe.
Mamelodi Sundowns captain, Themba Zwane, missed their CAF Champions League first-leg against Yanga. Photo: Phill Magakoe.
Source: Getty Images
“He’s the captain of our team, an important part of our team and of course, we missed him a little bit today, but everyone tried, I’m happy with the commitment and effort, especially in the second half,” said Mokwena, as quoted by iDiski Times.

The home side also missed three key players: Khalid Aucho, Pacôme Zouzoua and Kouassi Attohoula.

Noting the challenges of returning from an international break, Mokwena urged his team to build on the draw and focus on the upcoming matches.

The match saw early pressure from the home team, with attempts to breach Masandawana's defence. However, Afcon 2023 star goalkeeper Ronwen Williams thwarted most of their efforts.

The Brazilians struggled to find their footing, showing improvement only towards the end of the first half.

In the second half, the Tanzanian club intensified its attacks, looking to secure a crucial goal. However, neither team could break the deadlock, resulting in a stalemate, as reported by Goal.

Looking ahead, Sundowns will face Richards Bay in a Premier Soccer League match before the return leg against Yanga at Loftus Versfeld.

Zwane earns Pitso Mosimane's praise

Sports Brief reported that former Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane, praised Zwane following his standout display against Algeria in the FIFA series.

In a captivating encounter at the Nelson Mandela Stadium on Tuesday, March 26, the 34-year-old netted twice in the first half to propel Bafana Bafana to a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Although the Desert Foxes fought back, levelling the score twice to make it 3-3, Mshishi stole the spotlight.

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Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team
South Africa