Mamelodi Sundowns have qualified for the Caf Champions League group stages following their commanding 5-1 aggregate victory over Jwaneng Galaxy.
The Brazilians recalled Kermit Erasmus to the starting lineup alongside Peter Shalulile up front, while Gaston Sirino was named on the bench.
Sundowns got off to a good start and saw more possession of the ball in the opening exchanges.
Thapelo Morena had the first real chance of the game after 15 minutes but his header was unable to find the back of the net.
Former Orlando Pirates youth player Ricardo Lourenco nearly opened the scoring for Galaxy, but Kennedy Mweene was on hand to deal with his thunderous strike from distance.
Sundowns eventually took the lead six minutes before the break when Galaxy’s attempted clearance deflected off Erasmus to make it 1-0 in favour of Sundowns.
Erasmus nearly doubled his side’s lead just before the break but his effort hit the woodwork before Shalulile failed to slot home the rebound.
The home side went into the half-time break with a one-goal lead over Galaxy and an aggregate lead of 3-0.
Sundowns were awarded a penalty early in the second half when Shalulile was brought down by Molapi. Ricardo Nascimento stepped up to take the spot kick but saw his effort saved by Galaxy goalkeeper Katlego Mbise.
Lyle Lakay nearly found the back of the net in the 52nd minute when his cross-cum-shot from distance nearly caught Mbise off guard, but the Galaxy keeper did well to rush back to make an outstretched save to deny the Sundowns left back.
Erasmus should have bagged his second goal of the game eight minutes later after he made space for himself before firing his effort just wide of the target.
Sundowns continued to dominate proceedings and doubled their lead in the 68th minute when Mothobi Mvala rose the highest to head the ball home from an Aubrey Modiba corner.
The home side then opted to make a double change in the 74th minute when Andile Jali and Shalulile were taken off and replaced by Sphelele Mkhulise and Hlompho Kekana, respectively.
The Brazilians then made it 3-0 in the 80th minute when Mkhulise and Makgalwa combined well to play a ball through to Morena, who found the back of the net with a neat finish from close range.
Galaxy managed to pull a goal back with two minutes left to play in the second half when Tebogo Sembowa capitalised on a defensive error by Sundown to slot the ball past Mweene.
In the final effort of the game, Kekana unleashed his trademark strike from distance, which forced Mbise into getting down low to deny the Sundowns midfielder in stoppage time.
However, Sundowns managed to hold on to their 3-1 lead over Galaxy until the final minute at Loftus Versfeld Stadium to advance to the group stages of the continental competition.
You may also like