Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has hailed the loyalty and commitment of midfielder Tiyani Mabunda.
Mabunda defied all odds to play in the CAF Champions League semifinal second leg against Wydad Casablanca despite his daughter being admitted to hospital the day before.
Sundowns lost 2-1 on aggregate to the Moroccan side but Mosimane took the time to praise Mabunda's performance against Wydad.
"Loyalty. I spoke to him 'how you feeling' and he said 'I am ok'. I said 'you can go home because your daughter is in hospital and come back in the morning if you feel good, I will still play you even if you are not in camp [the day before]'," said Mosimane.
"He has been good to me. How many years? He has been exceptional. He is one of those players that play with their heart on their sleeve, and I have to be loyal to him.
"Imagine if the daughter is in hospital and I don't put him in the starting line-up, and he said 'no I stay with the team my daughter is fine' and next thing I drop him. That's not how you run football and I might lose him."
Sundowns return to domestic action and their pursuit of another league title when they host Golden Arrows in their penultimate match at Loftus Stadium on Tuesday night (19h30).