Mamelodi Sundowns played out to a 1-1 draw with defending champions Wydad Casablanca in their Caf Champions League group stage opener at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Brazilians got off to a great start and broke the deadlock in the third minute courtesy of an own goal by Ibrahim Comara, who turned the ball into his own net after Khama Billiat’s effort was initially blocked by the Wydad goalkeeper.
Wydad then levelled matter in the 19th minute when Ismail El Haddad guided his header past Sundowns shot-stopper Denis Onyango to make it 1-1.
The visitors nearly took the lead seven minutes later, but Onyango produced a fine save to deny Mohamed Ounnajem’s effort from the edge of the box.
Brahim Nekkach should’ve given Wydad the lead nine minutes before the break, but the midfielder failed to beat Onyango in a one-on-one situation as he fired his effort over the target.
The game went into the half time interval with the scoreline locked at 1-1.
Sundowns looked threatening in the second half and nearly took the lead after s swift counter-attack, but Gaston Sirino steered his header over the target.
The home side started to dominate proceedings as the game went on but were finding it hard to break down the Wydad defence.
Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana came close to handing his side the lead when he unleashed a strike from distance, but the midfielder’s effort was diverted away from danger and out for a corner.
The defending champions nearly caught Sundowns on the break in the 69th minute, but Onyango was on hand to deny Hakkach’s strike at goal.
At the other end, Sirino had a golden opportunity to hand Sundowns the lead a minute later, but the winger failed to beat the Wydad keeper with his effort.
Neither side were able to find the winning goal in the closing stages of the game as the match ended in a 1-1 draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) May 5, 2018
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
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