Kenya’s Mandela Wins African Football League with South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns

Kenya’s Mandela Wins African Football League with South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns

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Kenya’s national football team Harambee Stars centre back Brian Mandela won the inaugural African Football League (AFL) title after South African side Mamelodi Sundowns clinched tournament with a 2-0 second-leg triumph over Wydad Casablanca.

The Kenyan defender was part of African history Mamelodi secured a 3-2 aggregate victory over the three times CAF Africa Champions League Moroccan side on Sunday, November 12th, 2023.

Mandela joins the list of Kenyan players that have won a continental title, penning his name with the famous squad of Gor Mahia that won the Africa Cup Winners Cup renamed Mandela Cup in 1987.

Gor Mahia is the only club from East Africa and the first in East and Central Africa to a continental tournament


 Mandela who came in as a second half substitute to marshal the South African defence from infiltrated to hold on their 2-0 goal advantage for the victory Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria,

Peter Shalulile broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time, seizing the rebound after Youssef El Motie parried Teboho Mokoena’s shot.

Aubrey Modiba extended the lead five minutes into the second half, intercepting a wayward pass and finishing clinically.

With a two-goal deficit required for victory, Wydad’s efforts fell short. Sundowns strategically slowed the pace, and intentional yellow cards for time-wasting added to the tension.

Wydad’s Ayoub El Amloud missed a late chance with a header, and Sundowns held firm to secure the historic AFL title. Coach Rulani Mokwena’s tactical prowess overcame early pressure, marking Sundowns as the inaugural champions of the new AFL competition.

Here are some interesting statistics between the two side.

●      Before the second leg match, Mamelodi had won just one of their last six encounters against Wydad Casablanca (D4 L1), scoring just four goals, and conceding twice in each of the last two games (D1 L1).

●      Having won the first leg (2-1), Wydad Casablanca are looking to win consecutive matches against Mamelodi Sundowns for the first time since April 2019.

●      Mamelodi Sundowns have never lost a home match against Wydad Casablanca, alternating between a win and a draw in their six such games against the Moroccan side (W3 D3).

●      The last two matches between Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca have seen an average of 3.5 goals per game (2-1 in the first leg and 2-2 in the CAF Champions League in May), after the first 11 games between the two sides saw an average of just 1.2 (13 goals in total).

●      Mamelodi Sundowns are unbeaten in their last 24 home matches in all competitions (W20 D4), keeping clean sheets in five of their last seven such games.

●      Wydad Casablanca have won seven of their last eight matches in all competitions (L1), while their sole defeat did come away from home – in the second leg of their semi-final against ES Tunis (1-0) in the African Football League (progressed to the final on penalties).

●      Wydad Casablanca are the only team in the inaugural African Football League to name an unchanged side (in the first leg against Mamelodi Sundowns). Indeed they’ve made just four changes to their starting eleven across their five games (0.8 per game), with only TP Mazembe making fewer changes per game in the competition this season (0.5 – 1/2).

●      There have been just six goals in Mamelodi Sudowns’ five matches in the African Football League (half of which came in the first leg against Wydad Casablanca) – only Petro de Luanda’s games have seen fewer goals per game (1 – 2/2) in the competition than the South African finalists (1.2).

●      Mamelodi Sundowns’ Teboho Mokoena had four shots in the first leg against Wydad Casablanca, twice as many as any other player. Indeed, he has attempted nine shots (three on target) overall in the African Football League, the most of any player without scoring.

●      Wydad Casablanca’s Yahya Attiat-Allah has created 11 chances for his teammates, at least four more than any other player in the African Football League this season – he’s also played the most passes into the box in the competition (34).

●      Mamelodi Sundowns have scored 100% of their goals (4/4) in the African Football League in the second half of games, netting more second half goals than any other team in the competition, while both goals Wydad Casablanca have conceded came in the second half.

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