Mamelodi Sundowns moved to the top of the Caf Champions League Group A standings following their 3-1 victory over Asec Mimosas at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Friday evening, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Brazilians went into this encounter on the back of two defeats at the hands of Chippa United and AmaZulu in the Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup respectively.
However, they registered their first win in the Champions League when they beat Wydad Casablanca 2-1 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium last week to lift them to second place in the group, with three points.
Meanwhile, the Ivorian side also recorded their first win in Group A last week when they claimed a narrow 1-0 victory over Lobi Stars at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, while suffering a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Wydad in their opening game. They currently occupy third place, with three points.
Sundowns looked the better side in the opening exchanges of the game and broke the deadlock after 10 minutes when Gaston Sirino found space on the flank before whipping a ball into the path of Mosa Lebusa, who headed the ball home at the back post.
However, Lebusa’s celebrations were short-lived as he turned from hero to villain five minutes later when he conceded a penalty after bringing down Salif Bagate in the area. Ahmed Herve Diomande stepped up to calmly slot the ball into the net from the spot-kick.
The hosts came close to restoring their lead in the 24th minute when Lyle Lakay whipped a free kick into the area and caught Abdoul Karim Cisse off guard as he hit the woodwork with his cheeky set piece.
The visitors nearly took the lead on the half-hour mark when Alphonse Yao’s corner was headed inches wide of goal by Wonlo Coulibaly.
Sundowns dominated proceedings as the first half came to an end, but were struggling to convert their chances in the final third.
Mosimane’s side had the first chance of the second half when skipper Hlompho Kekana tried his luck from range, but Cisse was up for the challenge.
Cisse came to his side’s rescue five minutes later when he was tested by Anthony Laffor, who tried one from just outside the box after latching on to a ball from Sirino.
Sundowns persistence paid off in the 54th minute when they restored their lead as Themba Zwane slotted the ball home from a Sirino through ball, 2-1.
The host nearly extended their lead even further after 64 minutes when Kekana rattled the upright as Mimosas scrambled to clear their lines.
The Brazilians began to stamp their authority in the game after 70 minutes as they kept pushing forward in hope of extending their lead even further.
Laffor nearly made it 3-1 five minutes later after he was picked out by Sirino, but his effort was somehow cleared off the line.
Mimosas almost levelled matter in the 78th minute when Denis Onyango saved a tricky shot from range, but the ball slipped from his hands and began to roll back towards goal. Mosa came to his rescue to clear his lines and keep their lead intact.
Sundowns were finding it difficult to find the Mimosas goal, Zwane and Sirino seeing both their efforts saved off the line in the 81st minute.
The home team were not taking their foot off the pedal as Sirino hunted down a loose ball, forcing Cisse to come off his line to collect the ball.
Mosimane’s side put the game to bed in stoppage time when new signing Emiliano Tade scored on his debut after receiving an inch-perfect pass from Zwane to slot the ball home as they held on to claim all three points on home soil.
You may also like