Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has praised his side’s performance against Royal AM after the club experienced a flu outbreak that affected the majority of their players.
The Brazilians were crowned DStv Premiership champions for the fifth consecutive season after a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Royal AM at the Chatsworth Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Goals from Gaston Sirino, Thabiso Kutumela and Peter Shalulile secured a win and all three points for the Tshwane giants as they ended their league campaign.
Mngqithi went on to express his gratitude to the club’s supporters for their overwhelming spirit throughout the season.
“We were a little bit stripped apart with more than 20 players with the outbreak of flu, but the players that were there gave a really good account of themselves and they pushed very hard to make sure that at the end we win the match,” Mngqithi told his club’s official website.
“We are very thankful for their efforts, and the work they put forward was really encouraging.
“We are proud of the players that we have and the fight because we told them that adversity is breakfast for Champions, and the fact that we are having all these breakouts and issues it must not deter us from fighting for a result and our players never failed us in that space.
“I just want to thank our people – the yellow nation. They were behind us even during the times when they could not come to the stadiums because of Covid-19, but they made sure that they supported the team even outside the pitch.
“Beating that drum you could feel it and for me that was real support and there were moments where we did not win matches, but they were there with us. We lost against Stellenbosch in a game where I think we played very well but they supported us right through. They were there when we lost to Maritzburg United, and they were also there when we lost to AmaZulu and we really want to thank our supporters.
“We want to thank the president of the club, the chairman, the board, the management, my fellow coaches and the technical team and the support staff. More than anybody else, the players for such an enduring year where it was very hard, we played so many matches but they kept going and that for us was really important. We want to thank our players from the bottom of our hearts.”