Strikes from George Malukeka, Bradley Ralani and Kermit Erasmus ensured The Brazilians edged their Sudanese opponents to continue with an unbeaten run in the CAF Champions League. Masandawana were utterly dominant in their final Group A match on Saturday afternoon, the action started early as Aubrey Modiba combined well on the left of Merrikh’s box with Malukeka, the Limpopo born star squeezed a low cross into the box where Mohamed Mustafa stood firm on the line.
Moments later, in the same fashionable style, Modiba and Malukeka formed an attack as they searched for an early opener, this time it was Bradley Ralani with a strike that hit the top of the goal post and went out for the games first corner. Downs capitalized on the first corner as George Malukeka’s header sent the goalkeeper the wrong way as Bafana Ba Style took the lead in the contest.
Al Merrikh’s Al-gozoli Nooh raced forward towards goal and took the first shot at goal for Al Merrikh, however, his effort went wide past Reyaad Pieterse’s goal. Masandawana’s defense was outstanding as they dealt with cancelling out any passes that came towards their box. A few moments later A neat passing move on the edge of the visitors’ box from Modiba ended with a foul for the home team, goal scorer Mido stepped up but nothing resulted from the shot aimed at goal.
Haashim Domingo was involved in much of the attacking affair together with Neo Maema and Lesedi Kapinga as they tormented Merrikh’s defense. Sundowns were ahead heading into the break, much to the delight of the capacity of the yellow shirt-sleeved crowd.
The Tshwane giants shifted through the gears into the second-half, Modiba raced forward down the middle of the pitch before finding Domingo who teased the Sudanese defense as he moved into the box. The visitors’ hopes of getting back into the contest all-but disappeared when Ralani put the ball into the back of the net to extend Downs’ lead in the encounter.
Masandawana made a triple substitution shortly after their 2 – 0 lead, Gaston Sirino, Kermit Erasmus and Lebohang Maboe made their way as Malukeka, Maema and Domingo went off. It did not take much time for Erasmus to warm up to the tempo of the game, Romeo took a hot shot at Mustafa and buried his chances at goal to extend our lead to 3-0.
With less than 20 minutes to go, Kapinga and Andile Jali made way for Themba Zwane and Teboho Mokoena. Al Merrikh continued to chase the game but no results showed up for their efforts. There could have been more goals for The Brazilians, but the DStv Premiership champions finished the game at 3 – 0 as the crowd continued to sing and dance until the final whistle.
This is how we lined up:
R. Pieterse , M. Lebusa, R. De Reuck, A. Jali (79′ Zwane), G. Malukeka (68′ Sirino), A. Modiba, G. Kekana, H. Domingo (68′ Erasmus), N. Maema (68′ Maboe), L. Kapinga (79′ Mokoena), B. Ralanai.
R. Goss, K. Mudau, T. Zwane, T. Mokoena, L. Lakay, M. Mvala, G. Sirino, L. Maboe, K. Erasmus.