Mamelodi Sundowns were ruthless when demolishing Congolese side AS Otoho in the preliminary round 2nd leg match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium to advance to the 1st round of the Caf Champions League.
Coach Pitso Mosimane and his technical team didn’t make any major changes to the team, except in the middle of the park where, the suspension of Captain Fantastic Hlompho Kekana meant that Andile Jali got his first start of the season.
The Brazilians’ pacey wingbacks Thapelo Morena and Tebogo Langerman were blazing foward and spending time in the Otoho box as much as the attackers in the opening stages. It was only a matter of time before Langerman weaved his way into the box after being released by a perfect Morena lay back only to be denied by the woodwork.
Gaston Sirino started the onslaught as early as the 14th minute with a clinically taken penalty, after Maboe was brought down in the box. It was soon 2-0 to Sundowns after yet another setpiece by Sirino who found Sibusiso Vilakazi in the box, before Mosa Lebusa converted into an empty net.
The nippy maestro Sirino was at it again in the 43th minute, this time around displaying some class with the ball. The Uruguayan first blazed a defender just outside the box before curling the ball into the top left corner to put Sundowns 3-0 up.
Sirino and Vilakazi combined well in the 40th minute to release Themba Zwane, who made it 4-0 at halftime for ‘Bafana Ba Style’.
Sundowns came back from the dressing room with the same energy and should have made it 5-0 in the 50th minute. First Sirino released Vilakazi who attempted to round the keeper, then the ball fell kindly for Zwane in the box who was denied by a desperate clearance off the line by a defender.
The sensational Siphelele Mkhulise replaced Sirino in the 76th minutes which meant the Uruguayan couldn’t complete his hatrick on the day. A minute later Maboe was also replaced by Emiliano Tade to mark a full complement of all three substitutes after Anele Ngcongca ealier replaced an injured Morena in the 20th minute.
Sundowns marched on 4-0 winners on the day with an aggregate scoreline of 5-2.
STARTING ELEVEN: Denis Onyango (C), Thapelo Morena, Wayne Arendse, Mosa Lebusa, Tebogo Langerman, Rivaldo Coetzee, Andile Jali, Themba Zwane, Gaston Sirino, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Lebohang Maboe
Reyaad Pieterse, Tiyani Mabunda, Lyle Lakay, Sphelele Mkhulise, Emiliano Tade, Motjeka Madisha, Anele Ngcongca