Downs Held In Tunisia 

22/Jun/2017 08:27

Mamelodi Sundowns showed grit and determination when they entered the den that is the home of Tunisian champions Esperance to come away with a point in this CAF Champions League encounter.

The point moved the defending African champions to second spot on the four team log on five points, three points behind Esperance.

The Brazilians simply could not afford to lose this clash if they had to keep their mission to defend their title alive. They withstood an early onslaught from the Tunisians, who were seemingly looking for an early goal. Denis Onyango was forced into a save as Ben Youssef tried a snap header.

Motjeka Madisha, Anele Ngcongca, Tebogo Langerman and Soumahoro Bangaly stood firm as the North Africans launched wave after wave of attacks, neutralizing them in the final third.

Esperance had a chance from a set piece but their attackers cluttered into Denis Onyango.

Then captain Hlompho Kekana was called on to clear the lines.

It took the Tshwane Giants twenty minutes before they could find their rhythm , and when they did, they put the hosts on the back foot.

Themba Zwane played himself clear before laying the ball for Percy Tau, but the youngster seemed to freeze as he shot straight at the goalkeeper in a one on one.

The attempt seemed to rattle Esperance, and they tightened up their defence and adopted a more cautious approach to their attacks, wary of counters.

They also closed up Yannick Zakri and Anthony Laffor, while Zwane  kept to a defensive role and play was concentrated in the middle of the park. The two sides contested the midfield play without much dominance.

At the interval the two sides were still engaged in a tactical battle with few real chances.

The second half saw a spirited Sundowns probing for goals, but Esperance held out in front of their 30 000 fans who were impatient for goals.

Sundowns were given a major scare when Langerman went down in a chase, and it seemed like he had pulled a hamstring. The technical team must have sighed with relief when the left back returned to the field.

But as the game progressed, coach Pitso Mosimane pulled off Laffor for the pacier Thapelo Morena, who could also fall back into defence.

The visitors shut out the North Africans, who only had a chance from range, with the ball sailing wide of Onyango’s goal, and another as the clock was running down to the 90th which the Ugandan saved.

Lucky Mohomi was introduced for Zwane at the death as Sundowns settled for the point while Esperance tried to break out of the middle in search of a winner.

In the end, Sundowns would be thinking that had they taken their chance they could have grabbed three points but in the end they would have been the happier side, and their next assignment will be away to St George, who they lead on goal difference, and the final fixture against AS Vita at home.

Starting line up: Denis Onyango, Anele Ngconca, Motjeka Madisha, Tebogo Langerman, Soumahoro Bangaly, Hlompho Kekana, Themba Zwane, (Lucky Mohomi), Anthony Laffor, (Thapelo Morena), Yannick Zakri, Percy Tau.

16 Responses to Downs Held In Tunisia 

  1. Oni says:

    It was a tough encounter. You have outdone yourselves.

    We owe it to you as fans to give you our full support when you play your home games.

  2. INSIMBI.ZN says:

    Well done masandawane you have done very well half a loaf is better than none at all you are the champions of Africa against all odds

  3. Senzwa says:

    What a game of football!! especially the first half. Esperance flooded the midfield with five players and Downs attacked with five players looking to counter should the Tunisians attack recklessly. The second half deteriorated somewhat as both teams settle for a draw. A very tactical game. A draw was the obvious result and I think both teams will be happy with the result. We will go through…I am very confident from last night/this morning’s performance.

  4. Sithembiso says:

    Beautiful masandawana thanks for a point well earned

  5. msojaer says:

    A point away in Tunis,I thank you

  6. What a luke -warm performance, had to stay till early hours of the morning for a draw, not a bad away results,there is still a hope.

  7. Dave M says:

    We let Zungu left for free and his current team is going to cash up big time, that should never ever happen and I like how our managements is acting swiftly and fast with those optional year and if Modise falls within the same category lets not him leave for free we looked after him, lets extend that option and decide whether we keep him or we loan him in that way those teams who like free agents can wait for another year. we could use him for any contract negotiation with the player of our own interest as well. KBY Masandaaaaaaawana

    • collen says:

      I agree with you member, Zungu’s matter should not be repeated but at the same time the club must be reasonable with the buy-out clauses. They should not be way over the market .

  8. paul says:

    I think Pitso need to discipline Tau somehow

  9. Sam-4-Downz says:

    Tau has had enough game time to bury any one on one chance. As to why he still can’t is beyond me, however the team really played with a serious intend to come back with something. This was a very tough encounter, so a point better than nothing.

    • INSIMBI.ZN says:

      I think he reads our comments the boy is talented no doubt about that but he must improve on other aspects of his game firstly sometimes he is selfish but hope he will improve on that. Secondly he must position himself like abo Castro i don’t know whether he’s is played out of position.

  10. Dumza123 says:

    What a game last night, Tau should have scored that pass from Zwane, however our boys stood their ground. I think the ref could have done better as well. Ka bo Yellow. St George will be in deep trouble.

  11. Thabo J says:

    A goal scoring machine is all we need

  12. mashasha says:

    Well done to the team.Those guys can kill the game using their tactics hhay I don’t like their boring style of play especial north African teams.Bangaly was solid yesterday just those few mistakes but he was good

  13. mandla says:

    We need this cup than ever before,,and I am confident we can keep it locked in the safe,,bcos no one frm Africa knows our address…Onyango,S Zwane,Langerman,Madisha,Soumahoro,Kekana,Mabunda,Villa,Zwane,Tau,Zakri,,,subs:Sandilands,Morena,Nthete,Laffor,Castro,Mbekile,Hachi…we will come smiling

  14. combats to our rival supersports for winning netbank cup, it clearly showed that tshwane are place of champions, sundowns must sign brockie, MVALA, MAHAMUSA and KHUNE to strengthened the team. Amen