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Drama as Mamelodi Sundowns complete South African clean sweep

Rustenburg (South Africa) (AFP) – Mamelodi Sundowns completed a clean sweep of South African trophies this season after defeating Marumo Gallants 2-1 in the FA Cup final on Saturday thanks to a 120th-minute Thapelo Morena goal.

A post-extra time penalty shootout was looming in northwestern town Rustenburg when substitute Morena found time and space in the box to fire a low shot wide of Zimbabwean goalkeeper Washington Arubi.

Marumo, who finished nine places and 28 points below Sundowns in the league, had been reduced to 10 men with nine minutes of extra time remaining when key forward Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo was sent off.

Namibian Peter Shalulile put Sundowns ahead on 33 minutes, scooping the ball past Arubi as he slipped to claim a 30th goal in all competitions this season.  

Ivory Coast-born Junior Dion levelled on 75 minutes, nodding a cross past Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene from what appeared to be an offside position.

TV replays suggested Dion was ahead of any Sundowns defender, but South Africa have not introduced VAR and the goal stood. 

Apart from the FA Cup and Premiership triumphs, Sundowns also won an early season knockout competition, pocketing a total of 30 million rand ($1.9 mn/1.8 mn euros) in prize money.

A further 10 million rand went into the club bank account for reaching the CAF Champions League quarter-finals.  

The priority this season was the Champions League and after beating title-holders Al Ahly of Egypt home and away at the group stage, the Pretoria outfit surprisingly fell to Petro Luanda of Angola.

Sundowns won the premier African club competition for the first time in 2016, but have disappointed since, reaching the semi-finals just once in six attempts.

Next season, Sundowns and Cape Town City will represent South Africa in the Champions League and Marumo and Royal AM or Orlando Pirates go into the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup.

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