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After becoming only the second club from the country to ever win the African Champions League, Mamelodi Sundowns are now the favourite of South Africa. Sundowns lost 1-0 against Zamalek in Egypt on Sunday but triumphed 3-1 on aggregate as 'the Brazilians' raised their first continental title of any kind. In addition to winning $1.5m for claiming the trophy, the Pretoria-based side will also now represent Africa at December's Fifa Club World Cup.

According to Mosimane, who coached South Africa's national team from 2010 to 2012, and led the South African team to a Champions League-winning side, "To come to Egypt and raise the trophy, I don't think there's any sweeter way to lift it,"
South Africa's Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was in attendance at the game in Alexandria, and he believes Sundowns' victory will inspire their league rivals to take the competition more seriously. "It is important for southern Africa and for South Africa, it's a really important achievement because in this competition, the dominance has (traditionally) been in North Africa. I think Sundowns have made it big for us - we are very excited.  We, the government, have always said that clubs must take the competition seriously, so this is very important." Mbalula said.

 

On Monday, both the South African government and President Jacob Zuma sent out congratulatory messages to Sundowns through their Twitter accounts. Sundowns, who are owned by billionaire mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, will now contest December's Fifa Club World Cup in Japan. They will be the first South African team to do so since the tournament started in 2000, five years after Pirates' win.

Photo Credit: 
bbc.com

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