Sundowns see off Wydad to become inaugural AFL champions


South African side Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned the first-ever African Football League (AFL) champions after a 2-0 second leg victory over Wydad Casablanca sealed a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

Sundowns went into the home leg trailing 2-1 but turned the tie around thanks to goals from Peter Shalulile and Aubrey Modiba at a raucous Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

The hosts started slowly as Wydad disrupted their rhythm through intensive pressing and fouls.

But Sundowns' persistence paid off when Shalulile pounced on the rebound after Youssef El Motie parried Teboho Mokoena's shot in first-half stoppage time.

Five minutes after the break, Modiba intercepted a wayward pass before racing through to double Sundowns' advantage.

With Wydad now needing two goals to win the final, Sundowns cleverly slowed the game down. Multiple players took intentional yellow cards for time-wasting in the tense finale.

Wydad almost set up a grandstand finish when Ayoub El Amloud headed narrowly over with nine minutes left.

But Sundowns held firm to complete an aggregate victory that makes them the first AFL winners after the new club competition was launched this season.

Coach Rulani Mokwena masterminded a tactical plan that overcame Wydad's early pressure before ruthlessly capitalising on errors.

The triumph caps a historic continental triump for Sundowns who have now become the first champions of the new African Football League (AFL).