Monday Jul 19, 2021. 13:00
Al Ahly manager Pitso Mosimane has explained that his team fully deserved their victory in the CAF Champions League final this past weekend, playing down the fact that opponents Kaizer Chiefs played half of the match with just 10 men.
Ahly romped to a 3-0 win in the final in Casablanca on Saturday night, though all three goals arrived in the second stanza after Chiefs had seen young midfielder Happy Mashiane dismissed for a dangerous challenge on Akram Tawfik on the cusp of half time.
Though the Red Devils were overwhelmingly dominant after the red card, Mosimane argues that his team represent worthy champions given their strength through the knockout phase, which saw them rack up seven goals against Mamelodi Sundowns and Esperance de Tunis.
“We really needed this trophy. I know the team from my country also wanted their first star‚ but we needed it and we wanted it more than them‚” said Mosimane, as quoted by Sowetan Live.
“The 10th one is important – it’s good for our history and for our archives. And how better to do it than with three goals?
“Yes‚ I understand that there was a red card. But the red card is part of football – you should not be reckless if you play the cup final. You should not be too emotional. And this happens in football.
“But we deserve it. We won it. We have been scoring goals in the semifinals‚ we have been scoring goals all the way. So congratulations to the team – Al Ahly deserve the 10th trophy to make history.”
Mosimane himself has moved into second place on the all-time CAFCL managerial ladder, with his three titles (one with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016 and two with Ahly in 2019-20 and 2020-21) bettered only by Manuel Jose, who won four with the Egyptian giants in the 2000s.