The newly crowned PSL champions defeated Bloemfontein Celtic in Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final
Pitso Mosimane has lauded Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango after his heroics kept Bloemfontein Celtic at bay in Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final.
Sundowns won 1-0 following Gaston Sirino’s effort to clinch the silverware and complete a domestic treble, having downed Black Leopards to overhaul Kaizer Chiefs to the PSL title last weekend.
The reigning champions made hard work of Saturday’s opponents, with Onyango to thank for holding off a plucky Celtic side.
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“It was really a tough game for us,” Mosimane told SuperSport after the match. “I think Denis [Onyango] saved us, two chances in the first-half and the second-half but the game came out exactly the way we expected because of the pattern that they play.
“We had to frustrate them on that, not giving [Victor] Letsoalo and [Ndumiso] Mabena enough chance, then they resorted to long balls because they want to use the quick players, [Tebogo] Potsane and them.”
Celtic were undefeated in the bubble after football resumed following lockdown, and enjoyed their share of the chances.
Letsoala was denied by Onyango when the Uganda goalkeeper Bioreports Newsed away his glancing header in first-half injury time, while Celtic was denied from a set piece when the East African blocked a close-range effort.
Despite the success, Mosimane moved to play down the triumph after the match, explaining that—in contrast to the league title—it paled into insignificance.
“I’m happy, we have won but the league [title] is bigger,” he concluded. “Okay I’m not saying the Nedbank [Cup] is small, but I’m saying it’s a 30-game thing.
”What can I say? We’ve got the cup, thank you.”
Despite the triumph, Sundowns’ victory has been overshadowed due to an apparent oversight on the part of the champions.
Even though he was suspended for the match, Tebogo Langerman was still named among the Sundowns substitutes, with Mosimane even moving to introduce him as a substitute at one point in the contest.
The fourth official moved to prevent the ineligible player from entering the field of play, although Celtic are understood to have lodged a complaint and it remains to be seen whether there will be any further repercussions.