Mamelodi Sundowns conceded their first defeat in the Caf Champions League group stages after falling to a 2-0 loss at the hands of CR Belouizdad at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Friday afternoon.
The Brazilians made six changes to their squad that drew against Al Hilal as Sibusiso Vilakazi was handed his first start along with Ricardo Nascimento, Brian Onyango, George Maluleka, Thapelo Morena and Peter Shalulile all being recalled to the starting line up.
The Algerian side got off to a good start and managed to hold on to possession of the ball in the opening exchanges of the match.
Belouizdad produced the first real chance of the game in the 20th minute when Ahmed Gasmi directed his glancing header just wide of goal from a well taken corner kick.
Sundowns had a chance of their own midway through the half but Hlompho Kekana just missed the top of the crossbar with his effort from range.
It was the visitors who took the lead on the half hour mark through Amir Sayoud, who capitalised on an error from Sundowns goalkeeper Richardo Goss to slot the ball into an empty net.
Belouizdad then doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time after Gasmi found the back of the net with a powerful header at the back post from a Zine Boulekhoua’s cross as the game went into the half time break.
Sundowns opted to bring on fresh legs early in the second half as Gift Motupa, Promise Mkhuma and Lesedi Kapinga came on to replace Mothobi Mvala, Khuliso Mudau and George Maluleka, respectively.
The visitors should have extended their lead even further in the 61st minute but Goss came to his sides rescue to make a save to keep out Belouizdad’s long range effort.
The home side then made more substitutions six minutes later as Sibusiso Vilakazi and Aubrey Modiba made way for Lebohang Maboe and Lyle Lakay.
Maboe nearly made an immediate impact since coming on from the bench but was unable to keep his effort down as it sailed over the target.
Sundowns had a chance to reduce the deficit with three minutes left to play but Lakay blazed his well taken strike from the left over the target.
The home side continued to push forward in the closing stages of the game but were forced to endure their first defeat in the group stages of the competition.
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