Downs Progress to Champions League Group Stages After Impressive Win

Mamelodi Sundowns produced a spectacular performance to beat AS Maniema Union at 2-0 Loftus Versfeld Stadium and advance to the CAF Champions League group stages.

The Brazilians started strongly as they looked to impose pressure on their visitors consistently throughout the early stages of the first half. Downs worked well to get the ball forward, playing balls out wide to Namibian striker Peter Shalulile. Themba Zwane was faced with a goal scoring opportunity early on however he was called offside as Masandawana were looking to make their way into Maniema’s final third.

Bafana Ba Style looked comfortable with keeping ball possession and controlling the game. Midfielder Rivaldo Coetzee got in with the action towards the goal as his shot was blocked by Maniema’s defender and gave Downs a free kick outside the box. Left footer Lyle Lakay stepped up to curl the ball into the Congolese goalposts to give Sundowns the lead. It was just a reward for a fine start to the game from Masandawana who were playing with intent and vitality.

Thabiso Kutumela almost grabbed Downs’ second goal in the closing stages of the first half, however his shot went off target as it hit the side net of Maniema. The visitors secured a corner before the half time break but were unfortunate to equalize as Sundowns’ defenders were well aware of the danger.

The Brazilians returned in the second half with full speed in attack, Sibusiso Vilakazi had the chance to extend the lead with an effort which was denied by the goalkeeper. Maniema seemed determined to equalize when Downs lost possession high up the field and broke at pace,  however, shot stopper Denis Onyango brilliantly saved the ball and got Masandawana out of danger.

Downs continued to play in the style they are accustomed to when playing at home, dominating the ball and applying relentless pressure. Full back Lakay delivered a cross to the far side of the opponent’s box, and when goalkeeper Brudel Liyongo spilled the ball, it was Peter Shalulile who was on hand to give Bafana ba Style a two goal lead and widen the gap on aggregate.

Shalulile’s goal put Bafana Ba Style in total control and dominance. Maniema was not to be pushed over, the Congolese giants put on a fight with spectacular moments in attack that were close enough to threaten Downs’ dominance. Junior Mutwale of Maniema had his chance to score against Masandawana, however Onyango’s great goalkeeping skills were not to be messed with.

The final third of the second half saw Neo Maema, Pavol Safranko, Kermit Erasmus and Sphelele Mkhulise make their way on to the field as Downs looked to manage the game and secure the desried result.  The Brazilians proved that they have multiple ways of winning games as they continued with swift counter-attacks during the second half and were the center of attention. 

Mamelodi Sundowns advance to the group stages of the highly anticipated continental football competition with a 4-2 aggregate.

4 Responses
  1. muzi kunene

    Thanks for the win we knew that we’ll progress but one thing that worries me on our South African players is the decision making especially when we are on eighteen area or
    on penalty box,we tend to pass even shooting to the post is necessary but to my amazement we want to score and not pass when we are on awkward angle.
    That’s why Hlompho and Mokoena of Supersport United are excellent on that because they shoot once they’re near the eighteen area.
    Pls Wisemen improve on that so that we can dominate in Champs league,Kby forever.

  2. Jebzi

    True fully agreed with you. We have come short in this competition because of that. Specially when it comes to North Africa teams. Even the second goal we conceded in Drc it was a strike outside the Box and most of the Times Onyango is beaten.

  3. Jebzi

    Let me congratulate all our team Ladies team and Mdc tram great job guys.
    Another thing that is so disturbing to me we don’t have youngers Promoted to senior Team l was hoping that Rulani and Mgqithi Steve they were going to give youngsters a chance. But Dololo they even let Makgwala go the number one deadly finisher striker in the box in South Africa.
    We need our product in the Team they say they are loaning them but they never return. Malebo modise was at maritzburg a gifted left wing but he has disappeared. For me it doesn’t not help to have development team if they are no players promote to the first team. It stopped with Tau, Mkhulise and late Madisha. Every year we supposed to have one player promoted. We supposed to cut down on spending money buying some players unless if is a very powerful player. We supposed to build stadium with that money. We buy and we have development and we do not have home ground

  4. Jebzi

    One position we have 4 players why don’t you have 3 senior players in one position and one Junior player to learn and compete and install our culture of winning mentality we have been running this development for many years we supposed to have atlist 40% from development structure is Either our development is not run properly and our scouts are not doing good job, sibanyoni compare to Safranko for example????
    Makgwalo vs Romeo how many goals he has scored???
    Instead of giving our youngest a chance. Guys l am Yellow Nation it is my opinion l am not destabilizing a team some may thing that way but to me is some of the things have to improve to the Organization.

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