Mamelodi Sundowns ended the year off on a high after beating USM Algers 1-0 at Stade Mustapha Tchaker in the Caf Champions League Group C encounter on Saturday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Brazilians came into this encounter after beating Angolan side Petro Atletico in their opening group game before earning a point away to Wydad Casablanca earlier this month.
Meanwhile, USM have drawn their opening two Group C matches against Wydad and Petro, respectively.
The game got off to a lively start with both sides trying to get the upper hand in the early exchanges of the match.
Denis Onyango was called into action in the 13th minute when he produced a good save to deny Zakaria Benchaa.
The Brazilians pressed forward in the hope of breaking the deadlock but were caught in offside positions on numerous occasions.
Onyango was forced into making another great save on the half-hour mark when he kept out Abdelkarim Zouari’s effort at goal.
Both sides pressed forward in the closing stages of the first half but they could not be separated as the game went into the half time interval locked at 0-0.
Sundowns came out the better side in the second half and had a chance to take the lead early on when Hlompho Kekana unleashed a strike from the edge of the box, but his shit was deflected out for a corner.
The visitors eventually took the lead in the 58th minute when Kekana capitalised on a defensive error before beating the Algers shot-stopper to find the net.
Pitso Mosimane made his first substitution three minutes later when Tiyani Mabunda came on to replace Kekana.
Algers nearly took the levelled matter in the 75th minute but Onganyo made a fine save to keep out Mahious’ effort at goal.
Mosimane made his second substitution three minutes later when Lyle Lakay came on for Gaston Sirino.
Lakay should’ve doubled his sides lead after 80 minutes of play but saw his shot from the edge of the box sail over the target.
The visitors made their final change of the game a minute later when Mauricio Affonso was taken off and replaced by Lebohang Maboe.
However, Sundowns held on to their one-goal lead over Algers until the final whistle to walk away with three vital points to end off the year.
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