Mbekile committed to Downs cause

Mbekile, who started in Sundowns’ CAF Champions League group stage match against DRC outfit AS Vita at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday night, spent almost the entire season in the medical room with a shoulder problem. The game finished 1-1.

Mbekile made just 10 appearances in all competitions, including at the Fifa Club World Cup.

Last year the 30-year-old did well in the Champions League as a right-back for the club, but the arrival of Thapelo Morena and Anele Ngcongca increased the competition in that department. He can also play in central midfield, which is where he played against Vita on Sunday as coach PItso Mosimane rested a few of his key stars, but there’s Hlompho Kekana, Lucky Mohomi and Tiyani Mabunda to compete with in that position.

“I am very happy here. We are winning things, so why would I want to leave Sundowns and play for nothing?” Mbekile tells KickOff.com.

“It would be nice if I don’t get any injuries [next season], so that I can keep on playing. I will wait for my chance because the guys who have been playing are doing well.

“Thapelo [Morena] has been brilliant at right-back and 'Keke' [Kekana] has also been brilliant in the midfield, so I just have to wait and keep working hard at training.

“It’s very frustrating [to be injured], especially when you are closer to the starting line-up. It’s not easy to walk into the starting XI, so you have to work hard and be patient when you are not playing,” he adds.

Sundowns missed out on winning the Absa Premiership title, but they still have a shot at continental glory. They are in the Champions League quarterfinals, where they’ll face Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca.

“We would have loved to win the league, but it was not to be. At least we are in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. It would be nice to defend it because we would be the only team in South Africa to win the competition twice,” he says.

“We want to work hard and make sure that happens. We believe we can win it again. We’ve got a chance to win it. We just need to make sure we take out chances.”

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