Mamelodi Sundowns ended their CAF Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-1 win against Coton Sport on Saturday night at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Masandawana, heavily changed from the side that played in the last Champions League game in Sudan, gave opportunities in Pieterse, De Reuck, Boutouil, Mashego, Domingo, Kekana, Mkhulise and Mbule to start the game, with Allende tasked to lead the team.
A tackle was made as early as three minutes into the game on Marcelo Allende and a free kick given to Sundowns. Neo Maema went up to take the foul and put a cross to the far post where Cotin’s goalie Stephane Nyeck came out to push it out with one hand.
Maema was back in action a few minutes later as he put the ball in between the defenders to Hashim Domingo. The midfielder tried to find Cassius Mailula in the box but the ball had too much power and slightly beat Mailula as he was making a run towards the ball. Downs goalie Reyaad Pieterse had not been challenged up until the tenth minute, when an easy to collect mid air attempt came his way.
Fifteen minutes into the game another attempt by Masandawana showed up, Maema put in a low cross towards Mailula but the keeper came out quick out of his line to collect the ball. Five minutes later Domingo was up in action, but unlucky to see his thunderous shot being blocked by the goalkeeper and taken out for a corner kick.
Terrence Mashego got fouled as he was charging in attack and Allende took the free kick that saw Rushine De Reuck connect with the ball but the keeper beat him in the air with a punch on the ball. With the game approaching forty minutes, Allende and Mailula played out a short corner kick together, Mailula attempted to put the ball to the far post and saw the keeper make a delayed save with one hand to push the ball over his goalposts
After minutes of sustained pressure on the hosts, an own goal by Marie Mekong from Mashego’s cross in the box saw the The Brazilians take the lead with two minutes left to play in the first half. Allende controlled the ball in the midfield and passed the ball to the side to Mashego who put in a strong cross that Mekongo tried to clear but beat his own keeper.
The sides went into the break with the home side leading by one goal to zero and the encounter resumed in the same manner as it began, Masandawana were quick to play the ball in attack and retain ball posession. After the clock struck fifty two minutes, Mashego whipped in a cross looking for his teammates but the keeper got off his line to push the ball out for a corner kick.
Downs played in the corner kick and Sipho Mbule got the opportunity to test the keeper who got down low to save the on target effort. Just before the hour mark, Domingo did well to control the ball from Maema but the ball went out of his reach for him to take his final shot and Coton Sport regained posession.
Bafana Ba Style made a double substitution shortly, Abubeker Nasir and Erwin Saavedra marked their return on the field as Maema and Allende made way. The duo of substitutes played a quick one-two after Saavedra won the ball from the opposition, but Nasir was unfortunate to see his attempt past the keeper.
Coton got back into action as they showed no signs of sitting back, Mekong pulled a long shot from far towards goal and hit the side of the goalposts and Pieterse made a late attempt to meet the ball. Downs tried to increase the pressure and brought on Thabiso Kutumela and Sifiso Ngobeni into the game as Maema and Mashego left the field.
Masandawana got back into the game with threats from Saavedra and Kutumela who took on the defender and tried to cut the ball into the box but hit the side net. Ethiopian international striker Nasir did brilliantly to get on to Kutumela’s high pass into the box, beating two defenders and struck into the net to double the lead.
With a minute left to play and extra time awaiting, Sphelele Mkhulise exchanged with the young Ntandoyenkosi Nkosi. Soon after The Brazilians’ last substitution, Pieterse made a great save after Downs got dispossesd in their own half. With the game going into extra time, the visitors somehow put one past Pieterse completely against the run of play, Moshood Kasali scored with an assist from Che Malone.
The Tshwane giants maintained their top spot in CAF Champions League Group B with 14 points in 6 games and will head into the knockout stage of the competition.
This is how we lined up:
Pieterse, De Reuck, Mbule, Boutouil, Kekana, Mashego (75′ Ngobeni), Mkhulise (89′ Nkosi), Allende © (61′ Nasir), Domingo, Mailula (75′ Kutumela), Maema (61′ Saavedra).
Mweene, Lebusa, Nkosi, Kutumela, Modiba, Saavedra, Nasir, Ngobeni, Shalulile.