Downs Held to a Goalless Draw in Dar es Salaam

Mamelodi Sundowns played to a goalless draw in a mouthwatering clash against Young Africans FC in their first leg of the CAF Champions League quarterfinals on Saturday evening at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium.

The visit in Dar es Salaam saw Coach Rulani’s side welcome back Lucas Ribeiro and Thapelo Maseko, who created a few chances in attempt to break the deadlock for the away team.

Yanga was the first with a chance, a minute into the encounter but the straight shot was quickly blocked by Downs’ shot stopper, Ronwen Williams, to deny the Tanzanian titans an early opener.

Coach Rulani was forced to make a change before the 15-minute mark, following an injury Bongani Zungu sustained. Aubrey Modiba was then introduced in space of Zungu who could not continue.

Masandawana struggled to find the box in the tight contest, despite dominating possession in the first stanza. Yanga created more chances but Coach Rulani’s rearguard made important saves.

Shortly before the break, two dangerous chances from the visitors almost saw them take the lead. The first one came from Ribeiro’s low driven shot after he took it from a tight angle, causing the Yanga goalkeeper to cushion the ball. The second chance came from Teboho Mokoena through a long-range effort, which almost startled the Yanga men.

The second stanza saw the hosts have better chances, despite the Brazilians’ hold to possession. Coach Rulani’s charges were threatened a couple of times but they defended in numbers to contest for the ball. A chance came from Yanga after the hour mark, seeing Kennedy Musonda in a one-on-one situation with Williams but Williams made a critical save.

The titanic tussle was concluded with Bafana Ba Style attempting a last gasp chance through Mokoena, who captained the Pretoria-based side. His famous long-range strike from a set piece slightly went over the crossbar, to deny his side a goal. The encounter ended in a goalless tie and Masandawana will look to restore parity when they host their counterparts on Friday evening in Pretoria for the second leg.

How we lined up: Williams, Lebusa, Kekana, Zungu, Mudau, Lunga, Mokoena ©, Lorch, Allende, Ribeiro, Shalulile.

Substitutes: D. Onyango, Esquivel, Modiba, Aubaas, Mkhulise, Morena, Maseko, Mvala, Matthews.


5 Responses
  1. Muzi Kunene

    Fellow members kunjani since I last comment last year all along I’ve been quiet not because all is well with my team.
    I think our downfall for not progressing to the semifinal is favouritism nothing else,Maboe and Maema should had at least on the reverse bench since We know those who were in Algeria might be fatigued and we saw that on Modiba,and there’s this thing of our coach saying he’s not a fan of rotation my question is how are you gonna last with so many competitions that Downs are playing.
    Riberio came from an injury who should start on the bench with Morena on the startup.People are saying in Loftus we score as if Yanga will be prevented to do the same by the referee and lastly whoever came with this so called chameleon football at Downs has destroyed our team nowadays we play for possession,slow build up too many back passes to the goalkeeper we only wake up when it’s late or we are being led,anyway let’s hope for the win next Friday not a draw with goals because we’ll be out.
    Next season just buy only strikers not middle fielders and too many wingers,Kby forever

  2. Mfana

    We might had 73%ball possession but it was all that?What a disappointing display by our team.Very unlucky 2 lose Zungu early into the game.But really I have not seen Sundowns having such a negative ball possession with absolutely no purpose.All substitutes brought absolutely nothing,but now does chokers tag suits us?Sundowns has this tendency of playing very well in group stages &freeze on knockout stage.Rulani Mokoena is another person who froze yesterday and his downfall again is his favoritism when he brought Maseko a person who dd not start a single game.Knowing very well that boy brings nothing on the field except losing possession and runs aimlessly like a headless chicken &yesterday was no exception.The question is who has forgotten how Wydad eliminated us last year? WAKE UP RULANI DON’T SLEEP ON DUTY.Because Sirino was not on national duty 4 his country why not accommodate him on that match against ur same sickness.Lets welcome Young Africans &don’t talk about Sundowns inexperience CAF semis Yanga has no experience too.This is the worst performance by Sundowns this season.

  3. Muzi Kunene

    Kekana and Ron went they just stand still with the ball on their feet as if the referee have blown out the whistle,with the players we have Downs can score an average of three goals per game but their obsession is possession that don’t hurt the opposition because we normal do it on our half.
    It’s worst because our coach emphasise to them to complete one thousand passes per game,if we can adopt a little bit of sense of urgency and catch them off guard we’ll be unstoppable really.
    It’s funny because those European coaches he used to tell us about for praising his football are playing offensive football with limited backpasses,I repeat this is not Downs we we’re attracted to them in the late eighties,pls guys don’t get me wrong I appreciate everything he has done for us BUT too many backpasses,slow build ups and possession football at our half is a BIG NO for me I don’t care who says what.

  4. Dalom

    There’re so many things going wrong in the team which the coach is unfortunately unable to address. The midfield of Bongani Zungu, Marcello Allende and Teboho Mokoena gives possession away so cheaply, and the coach is not addressing this issue with the players. I watched Man City yesterday and it felt as if I was watching Sundowns. Aimless ball possession that doesn’t ‘cause any harm to the opponent, playing with the same style and tempo for 90 minutes. What’s the purpose of the technical team if they see their tactics are not yielding any results. The issue of players coming back from injury or suspension and walk straight into the starting eleven has not always seated well with me. Sundowns needs a coach and a very good coach for that matter if they want to dominate for a very long time

  5. Dalom

    We’re really need Nasir and his place has unfortunately been taken by these over-rated South Americans. Allende is always all over the pitch just for giving possession away in dangerous areas. You’ll hardly see him in the opposition’s half. It’s very clear that this team can’t play without Themba Zwane, he’s the only player who can unlock the opposition. I watched Al Ahly playing Simba on Friday at the same stadium 🏟️ and I realised the big difference between Al Ahly and the rest of the teams in Africa. What a technical discipline displayed by Al Ahly

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