Mamelodi Sundowns right back Thapelo Morena admits that failing to win the Caf Champions League trophy was their only shortcoming in what was a very successful season for the Brazilians.
The Brazilians edged out Marumo Gallants 2-1 to win the Nedbank Cup final this past Saturday to complete the domestic treble after already winning the DStv Premiership title as well as the MTN8 trophy.
Morena came off the bench as a second-half substitute to clinch the victory over Bafana Ba Style in the dying minutes of extra time, with a composed finish to find the back of the net from inside the box to guide Sundowns to their sixth Nedbank Cup title.
“From outside I came in as a winger trying to get behind the defence and [when Khuliso] Mudau went out I had to go back to the right back, but it didn’t stop me from going forward,” Morena told his club’s official website.
“It was definitely about seeing the space and it was inviting me. As a footballer you can’t say you have one specific position, for me every chance that I get in the field I just do my level best and gratefully I definitely helped the team in making sure that I use the opportunities that I’ve been getting.
“You always have to be positive and always be ready when you get the chance to play. Everyone in the team is positive and willing to work for the team, whoever gets the chance and does well will stay in the team and as a player individually I will always keep on pushing regardless of whether I start the game or come from the bench. I will definitely make sure that I give the best to the team.”
He added: “For me, I think [the team] has been very hardworking, of course we’ve had few challenges here and there but our main target was to win everything on the table. We came short of one trophy but everyone gave their best, the most important one was the league and we got it, it gave us the momentum coming into the final of the Nedbank Cup and we got it as well, which is fantastic. I think the guys did a fantastic job winning all the trophies that are available in the PSL this season.
“Everyone has played their part in this season’s campaign, from [Ricardo] Goss to Reyaad [Pieterse] and Kennedy [Mweene] coming up with big saves. We are one happy family in terms of the goalkeeping department and, of course, the infield players as well. We need to keep pushing each other and whoever gets the opportunity [to play] it shows, even when I am not in goals the team can win, even when Kennedy is out and Reyaad plays the team can win, so we always support each other and try to give our best to the team. It’s important as a team to stand together and keep the team strong and happy.
“I could probably get my 10th league trophy next season, another Nedbank Cup and another MTN8 Cup. We keep grinding and getting the results, we have to be competitive every season and that’s why the guys have managed to win three trophies this season. It’s been a great season, we could’ve done better with the Champions League, one or two steps ahead but I’m happy with the guys they really gave their best and with the push from the management and the technical staff it’s been fantastic because without them we couldn’t have made it this far.”