Masandawana Begin Group Stages With Home Win

Mamelodi Sundowns edged past Al-Hilal Omdurman on Friday evening in the CAF Champions League opening affair in Rustenburg on Friday evening.

The match started with high intensity for Masandawana with pressure applied on Hilal’s back line that looked shaky. It was in the 7th minute when Downs’ high press forced the Sudanese team to make mistakes in defense, with Themba Zwane nearby, the former player of the season wasted no time in breaking the deadlock and scoring one home for Masandawana.

Pavol Safranko and Gaston Sirino showed great combinations upfront, working well together in passing the ball to create another goal scoring opportunity for the home team, but there were no serious threats on goal yet to extend the lead. The Brazilians continued to hold onto possession for most of the first half period, giving the opposition little chance on building up to form an attack in their territory. Hilal’s Abduljeleel Ajagun looked to bring the visitors back into the game, however Denis Onyango made a comfortable save from the attackers attempts.

There was a lengthy stoppage towards the halfway mark of the first half as Downs forward Sirino suffered an injury that required him to be stretchered off. The Uruguay international was forced to cut his CAF start short, Thapelo Morena was introduced to replace the attacker. 

Sundowns had a golden opportunity to extend their lead with Morena coming face to face with Ali Aboeshren, but his shot was defended, giving Masandawana a corner which was put out by the goalie. There weren’t many opportunities going forward as the first half came to an end with a 1-0 lead for the Tshwane giants.

The second half started off with more aggression from the opposition, Zwane was brought down by Ajagun who received a booking in the referees book. The encounter continued much as the first half ended with the match being a close contest between the two teams, Downs continued to hold onto ball possession and passed the ball amongst each other.

Neither team was able to get a telling touch, left footer Lyle Lakay’s long range free kick looked promising for The Brazilians to get a second goal but Aboeshren quickly got off his mark to clear the opportunity. The match was largely a matter of absorbing pressure and then trying to break the defense on both sides, though chances were created for Masandawana, the finishing touches in the box let them down.

Al-Hilal started to get back into it as Brian Onyango was cautioned for foul, taken by Mohamed Yousif who blasted a hot shot wide past Downs goalpost. Hilal had another opportunity shortly to level the score at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium but saw their efforts cleared off the line by Mshishi.

Namibian international Peter Shalulile was in a good position to get his name on the score sheet, but the ball could not stay on his feet to take a shot at goal for Bafana Ba Style. The hosts then made a triple change as the game was reaching an end, withdrawing Pavol Safranko, Zwane and Shalulile for Mothobi Mvala, Teboho Mokoena and Erwin Saavedra. 

The Brazilians’ latest signing Saavedra  saw his efforts from a tight angle blocked and drift wide in his debut for Masandawana. The CAF Champions League battle concluded with a 1-0 victory for the reigning Premier Soccer League champions.

This is how we lined up: 

  1. Onyango © , R. Coetzee, L. Lakay, B. Onyango, R. De Reuck, A. Jali, G. Sirino (25′ Morena), P. Safranko (89′ Saavedra), K. Mudau, T. Zwane (89′ Mokoena), P. Shalulile (89′ Mvala).


  1. Mweene, A. Modiba, D. Lunga, T. Morena,  B. Ralani, T. Mokoena, T. Kutumela, M. Mvala, E. Saavedra.
2 Responses
  1. muzi kunene

    What a boring game all because of our Wisemen for sticking to their favorites till the end even its not their day.
    I mean Zwane,D.Onyango and Jall need to be stay out sometimes or maybe on their contracts its written they must play no matter what.We signed good players to easy the pressure on our team but our coaches sat the whole game and substitute in the last two minutes of injury time and Mokoena didn’t even touch the ball.People are busy praising Jali but if you can watch his passings that are always poor you’ll be amazed whereas a good player Mokoena is sitting on the bench.
    I don’t want to talk about D.Onyango because that guy is very annoying and I’m afraid to think about other games of Champs League, Mweene and other goalkeeper are far better than him lately but our wisemen will pin their hopes on that useless Onyango,poor distribution of the ball and he takes too long to clear the ball I see a disaster.

  2. Downs4ever

    Agreed member,the two Onyango and Jali were worse.If you can check our games b4 festive break to date Jali’s passing is awful,the guy is even fat like he’s a coach.The same with Denis he would take long to realise the ball and end up passing opponents or outside the pitch,he is the worst keeper in terms of distribution in the team,he doesn’t deserve to our captain.The less said about B Onyango the better,that one is a liability, if we can play him in Egypt we’re going to be humiliated.Shaulile keeps on knocking down defenders,he doesn’t relax in the 18 area.Our biggest elephant in the room is the technical team,these guys are too small for our team,they take long to replace even when the team is struggling,no sober coach can expect Safranko to play 90 minutes in his 1st game after the break bcoz the other cup game he played less than 15 minutes.De Reuck and Mudau are the soldiers of the team,and De Reuck should be our captain and Mudau should be his vice not the I’ll-discipline Jali and Onyango in the field .Guys the league cup you won us was number 11,this means Downs need a coach that can win us champions league ‘coz our league even with a player coach we can win it with ease,but with you guys that will remain a dream.You tick all the wrong boxes from favouritism, cowardness ,no player in the squad in all countries,inability to integrate youngsters in the team,both from development and those we bought..Players like Morena and Jali the signs are there to show that they are finished, Du Preez is there to replace Morena and for Jali we have Mokoena and Magerman.I still maintain you can’t spend lots of money on development and also on buying players,at least management is doing something to address that by bringing that Denmark guy.I really doubt if you’ll be coaching us next season.

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