Sundowns coach Mokwena hails ‘incredibles’ after seventh straight title

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena called his team “the incredibles” after they trounced Kaizer Chiefs 5-1 on Thursday to seal a seventh straight South African Premiership title.After a goalless first half in Johannesburg, a Chiefs team reduced to 10 men on 19 minutes when Given Msimango was red-carded for a last-defender tackle collapsed.Tashreeq Matthews (twice), Argentine Matias Esquivel, Brazilian Lucas Ribeiro and Thembinkosi Lorch scored for the champions while Mduduzi Shabalala converted a Chiefs penalty.

Sundowns reached an unassailable 62 points with six matches to play, leaving Stellenbosch and Orlando Pirates to fight for second place and the other 2025 CAF Champions League slot.

“This is a special squad — the incredibles. We may not see their likes again in South Africa for a very long time,” said Mokwena.

“I also want to praise the ‘yellow nation’ (Sundowns supporters). They are amazing men, women, teenagers and children. I am humbled by the support they give me.”

Matthews broke the deadlock on 52 minutes and four minutes later Esquivel doubled the lead at the Soccer City stadium.

Matthews struck again on 82 minutes before Shabalala made it 3-1 from a spot kick. Ribeiro and Lorch then netted as Sundowns scored five in a league match for the first time this season.

The Pretoria outfit now turn their attention to the South African FA Cup as they seek a domestic double. They play Stellenbosch in a semi-final on Sunday in the western Cape town.

The romp against Chiefs stretched to 48 matches the unbeaten run of Sundowns, whose last league loss was against Pretoria neighbours SuperSport United in September 2022.

Having overtaken the record set in 2005 by Chiefs when they went 31 matches unbeaten, Sundowns now want to become the first club to complete a Premiership season without losing.

Their remaining fixtures include hosting Royal AM and Cape Town City and travelling to Golden Arrows, Stellenbosch, TS Galaxy and Royal.


© Agence France-Presse

Photo: Twitter @ShakesRampedi

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Dylan Johnson