Sundowns Move Into Quarter Finals

02/Jul/2017 01:37

It was win or bust for African Champions Mamelodi Sundowns, and the Tshwane giants delivered in devastating manner when they beat Ethiopian champions St George 1 – 0 at the Addis Ababa Stadium in Ethiopia to book a place in the quarter finals of the CAF Champions League.

Sundowns needed to win in this Group C clash to keep their title defence alive, as they took on a side that held them to a goalless draw in Atteridgeville in the reverse fixture.

Even if St George win their final game, they can only equal Sundowns’  eight points, but the Tshwane side would edge the Ethiopians on head-to-head and retain second spot behind Espereance, who were held to a 2 – 2 draw by AS Vita in the other group game.

St George came into the game determined to keep their fantastic home record, and the 30 000 fans who crammed into the stadium to support their side were well behind their team.

They attacked from all angles from the kick off, and were all over the African champions. They had clearly lost respect for the Brazilians from their encounter in Tshwane, and the Kings of Africa had to ensure that they did not concede.

And, within the first five minutes, Motjeka Madisha had been forced into a rushed clearance, but sliced the ball onto his own upright, almost handing the hosts the lead.

Buoyed by this effort, St George kept up the pressure, and the heavy,damp and bumpy pitch did not help the cause of Mamelodi Sundowns. This, and the fact that the home side strategy had been to play rough and tough, with Yannick Zakri and Percy Tau their main targets, made Sundowns play from the back foot. Onyango, too, was not spared as he was pushed and shoved in the air.

Anthony Laffor and Sibusiso Vilakazi, the more experienced players, were able to manage the difficult pitch and keep the two younger players on the attack.

Soon, the Tshwane side settled, and could control the ball better as they took the game to the home side, and they created several opportunities from the midfield.

Having survived the early scare the Brazilians calmed down the play and settled to their own brand of passing football. Tebogo Langerman and Laffor had efforts going over the bar, and Laffor particularly should have put his side ahead.

Sundowns had another scare when Anele Ngcongca was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Onyango showed just why he is the number one goalkeeper in Africa when he read the St George player’s shot and saved, denying the local side and silencing the massive crowd which had anticipated a goal.

Hlompho Kekana tested the Ugandan goalkeeper Robert Odongkara, a colleague of Onyango in the national side side.

The game swung from one side to the other, and the hosts showed why they have been such a threat in  Group C.

From a goalless first half, Sundowns grew in confidence, and their attacks and attempts at goal exceeded those of their hosts who, in the end, only had three shots on target in the game.  Sundowns continued to push for a goal.

Coach Pitso Mosimane pulled off Zakri and introduced the pacey Thapelo Morena, whose brief seemed to have been clear:  run at them on the wing and get the ball into the box.

Morena did not disappoint.  He made one such run, cut in to towards the eighteen box, and crossed the ball which went tantalisingly across the six box where Laffor was waiting unmarked.  The Liberian shot first time, beating the St George goalkeeper to give his side a 1 – 0 lead.

The goal seemed too have rattled the home side, and the home crowd also went quiet.  They were not used to this kind of pressure, and they were forced to come out of their shell and try attacks, but left themselves open as the Tshwane giants mounted waves of attacks.

Much of the game then concentrated in the middle of the park, as shots from range simply did not give the two sides much of a challenge.  The St George goalie was almost caught flatfooted, and had to retrieve the ball from just on the line.

Mosimane then decided to close down shop, and brought on Thabo Nthete for Tau, and finally Fares Hachi  for Laffor – all defensive players for attackers.

The Pretoria side held out, and at the end of it all, it ws aa deserved vitory for the visitors, setting them u for a quarter final berth.

Starting line-up:

Denis Onyango, Motjeka Madisha, Bangaly Soumahoro, Tebogo Langerman, Anele Ngcongca, ,Hlompho Kekana, Themba. Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi,  Anthony Laffor (Fares Hachi 92′), Percy Tau ( Thabo Nthethe 87′), Yannick Zakri (Thapelo Morena 67′).

Bench: Keennedy Mweene, Asavele Mbekile, Lucky Mohomi, Siyanda. Zwane.

27 Responses to Sundowns Move Into Quarter Finals

  1. mandla weSundowns says:

    Congratulations guyz, you made us proud. We couldn’t afford to be out at this stage. I’m so happy. Keep on having fun, football is a funny game. Kaboyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellow

  2. Mfana says:

    Well done boys wishing u all the best to advance to the quarter finals &we know the challenges that u face in Africa dubious and questionable penalties.Cabbages&bumpy pitches.Bad officiating,dirty tricks from CAF administrators,whereby North Africans r given unfair advantages to ensure that they(rival teams)win at all costs.Even this nonsense of scheduling Sundowns to play their home fixtures at night and not schedule Esperance to play during the day.But if God prepared &meant it (Champions league)for us,no-one is going to change that.We will be champions dark or blue.Welldone to Pitso the technical team,the team,supporters &management and everybody involved who makes this team a huge&massive success.SIYABONGA BRAZILIANS KAMBOYELO EVERYWHERE.

  3. Thabo says:

    I am a sundowns fan my whole family are sundowns fans . Officially we are a happy family

  4. mrevdolo says:

    I am very happy to be a Sundowns fan keep it up guys we can defend this. Star

  5. Shingirayi Zimunya says:

    Well done to the boys. You made us proud. I am so happy that Soumahoro is proving his mettle. He bullied the St George attackers, so too did young Madisha. I am hoping and praying that come next week we will have Brilliant Billiat back, as well as Workhorse Mabunda and all our injured players. We need to prepare for the upcoming season too and I insist on us buying a second team so we have one for CAF Champions League and one for the Absa Premiership League. We have the money so why not. We must just promote our Development players and buy one or two. I hope we keep Ngele and Malajila, I feel we can still use them. All we need is two defenders, two attacking midfielders and two strikers to give ourselves a new team. Halala Masandawana!!!!

  6. Moripi says:

    Well done boys, u did it under very difficult conditions, we very proud of u,we couldn’t play our on the ground, swift one two kind of football due to that terrible pitch, but you fought still. Thank u that we move to the next stage.

  7. Makhura says:

    We are thin on attack. We need one out and out striker. A winger to replace Dolly. A commitment from Ngele. R Coetzee/ Xulu/ Onyango at the back. Ngobeni and see Mweene make way for one foreign player.

  8. Lujah says:

    Well done to the tech team and the boys

  9. Tshepo says:

    congraaaaaaaaaaaa masandawana a matle

  10. Tumisang Bale says:

    I love this team

  11. Fraser. says:

    Thanks guys for supporting this team I wish we sign onyango and cape town city midfielder that will be great

  12. sabby says:

    Well done Guys Lets do it again and surpass our critics of RSA. “AGAINST ALL ODDS” siyabangena #KBY

  13. Mxo says:

    Ngiyabonga mina bafana bastyle, mxolisi from ulundi

  14. Ramudi says:

    You have once again proven beyond doubt that the away games are in fact your home games, the true attitude of what champions are made of. Thanks for qualifying to quarter finals. Even though it is still early days to declare I can safely say can’t see any team posing a serious threat to your successful defense of the championship title. Yellow machine all round!!!


  16. loyiso says:

    Hit en run Against oll odds

  17. Sam-4-Downz says:

    We’re all proud of the team, we are truly bullish in the continent, teams now fear Sundowns. I’m just happy that playing in the continent has become a normal way of life for the team, even in toughest conditions, we’re just used to it. If PSL teams take us to a muddy bumpy pitches like the one in east London, they must know that we’re now used to it. Let the yellow coach sign wisely this season, and promote wisely as well. We can make suggestions but let’s remember that the final decision on the matter is his, so ours is to respect and support his decisions. KBY forever!!!

  18. Jordaozinho says:

    Well done boyz

  19. Geel kabuyelo says:

    Well done boys you made us proud as sundowns family

  20. nkosana says:

    happy family again.zakri must go

  21. nkosana says:

    holla yellow nation

  22. Well done Boyz,keep it up.

  23. Jaws Buda says:

    I am really proud to be associated with this brand. KBY

  24. Gabriel says:

    Happy to learn we are in the QF. Good lluck in the next round and our last group game.

  25. Vusisizwe Mpu says:

    the smile is on our face well done boys please take a small rest and start working hard for the last game its better southern african opponents than other parts and please pitso give other players a chance

  26. Tix wa le sundawana says:

    As Vita this, As Vita that, u qualified thru the back door, and this time around we were in the same GROUP and they r fourth and where is the back door, sometimes concentrate your Macufe and leave us with our SECOND uploading STAR and this time we take on Al AHLY not Zamalek phansi makhozikazi phansi