Mamelodi Sundowns kicked off their CAF Champions League qualifying campaign with a four nil victory over Burundi outfit Bumamuru FC on Friday afternoon in Tanzania. The Brazilians made a statement with goals from Lucas Ribeiro, Lesiba Nku and a returning Peter Shalulile to put themselves in a strong position ahead of the second leg at the end of this month.
Masandawana started the game strong looking to control possession and break through the stubborn defense, whilst the home side looked to set up a low block to deny the visitors any opportunities to score.
It did not take long for the team from South Africa to open the scoring, as they were awarded a penalty in the 13th minute after the referee adjudged a handball in the penalty area. Brazilian forward Lucas Ribeiro. Calmly put away the penalty to give Masandawana the lead.
After getting the first goal, Downs immediately went in search of the second. Argentinian midfielder, Junior Mendieta came close to doubling the lead when he took a shot from the edge of the box that rolled just wide of the upright. Teboho Mokoena was next to have a go with a free kick attempt that rifled over the crossbar.
Sundowns carried on to search for the second goal and eventually found the breakthrough again, when Lucas doubled his efforts with a finish in the box. The team in yellow made it three in next to no time when Lesiba Nku took his opportunity in the box to make it three nil to the away side.
And emphatic first half came to a close with Sundowns, three goals up and in a comfortable position in the tie.
The second half started much like the first, with Sundowns having to try their best to break through a resolute defense. Lucas tried to pick up where he left off as he fired a powerful shot in the box that rattled against the crossbar.
Downs, who were hardly tested on the day, stood up to the task when Terrence Mashego got himself into the right position to make a defensive intervention and clear away the danger from the free kick that came in from the right.
With 20 minutes left in the encounter, Coach Rulani and his technical team made a number of changes in order to freshen up the legs and give others an opportunity. Lebohang Maboe, Bongani Zungu, Peter Shalulile and Khuliso Mudau made their way on to the field, with Sipho Mbule following suit a few minutes later.
Namibian marksman Peter Shalulile scored with 10 minutes remaining in the encounter grabbing goal number four and putting the result beyond doubt, marking his return from an injury layoff. The goal would be his 105th in all competitions for club teams, setting a new PSL record.
The visitors held on to their four goal lead and saw out the tie in a comfortable manner.
Up next, a return to Johannesburg to gear up for the mouth-watering encounter against Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates on Wednesday evening.
How We Lined Up:
Williams, Coetzee, Lebusa, Mashego, Kekana, Mokoena, Mendieta, Aubaas, Zwane, Ribeiro, Nku
Subs: Pieterse, Maboe, Zungu, B Onyango, Modiba, Mkhulise, Mbule, Mudau, Shalulile