Sundowns completes treble with win over Celtic in Nedbank Cup final

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The curtain has come down on the 2019/2020 professional football season in South Africa. In the last day of the coronavirus disrupted season, Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned champions of the Nedbank Cup tournament after a 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic.

The Brazilians have completed a domestic treble, having lifted the Telkom Knockout Cup in December, the Absa Premiership trophy early in September, and now, the Nedbank Cup title.

In the last match of the 2019/2020 professional football season in South Africa, Celtic took on Sundowns in a battle for the Nedbank Cup title. Sundowns, fresh from lifting the league championship, was looking to end the season in style by completing a domestic treble.

In the half-hour mark, Sundowns had a glorious chance to open the scoring. Eight minutes later, the Brazilians were denied yet another scoring opportunity.

At the stroke of halftime, Dennis Onyango pulled off a fine save to deny Siwelele.

Early in the second half, Gaston Sirino saw his attempt hitting the upright. The Uruguayan, however, could not be denied ten minutes from time. That solitary strike proved to be the winner.

“It was very important, two trophies in one week. It was very important for everybody and I thank the support and much more,” Sirino said.


Controversy over Tebogo Langerman

The victory was overshadowed by controversy. Sundowns defender Tebogo Langerman was suspended and, therefore, was not allowed to be part of the match-day squad.

Despite his suspension, Langerman was on the substitutes’ bench, which was in contravention the rules book.

“You must win football on the pitch, that’s my opinion of football, win on the pitch. If you have to win outside the pitch because there’s something like this or that, okay. You know how football is. You know that Bloem Celtic won the Nedbank Cup in 2012 with the ball that didn’t cross the line; who talks about it now? They talk about Celtic being the finalists in 2012. I don’t do, I focus on coaching the team, and if I have reports on certain issues. Of course, I’m not aware at this point in time. You must win on the pitch imagine you have to raise the trophy,” said Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.

Celtic are believed to have lodged a protest at the end of the match. Team coach John Maduka says they were not aware of what was happening when Sundowns tried to field Langerman.

“We were not sure of what was happening there, the fourth official saying she had to do one player at a time so we had to wait until we spent about four-five minutes waiting.”

Mosimane has led Sundowns to a domestic treble. The last team to complete a treble in South Africa was Orlando Pirates in 2012.