Masandawana Trounce La Passe To Qualify For Champions League Group Stages

Mamelodi Sundowns strolled to an emphatic 8-1 win over La Passe FC in the second leg of the CAF Champions League second preliminary round on Friday night, sending a clear message of intent for the new season. Masandawana had as many as five different scorers on the night, Thapelo Morena, Haashim Domingo, Cassius Mailula and Neo Maema each scored once, Gift Motupa bagged twice and an own goal by the opposition.

The Brazilians handed goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse and midfielder Lebohang Maboe their first appearance of the season, while Moroccan international Abdelmounaim Boutouil made his debut. Downs wasted no time in opening the scoring, Morena got things going within 7 minutes, the pacey full back made an effortless finish against La Passe goalie, Dave Collin. Morena opened his scoring account for the season with his first goal, a pass from Gaston Sirino neatly made its way into the box, Morena placed it on his chest and put it at the back of the net. 

La Passe continued playing with a low block to make it difficult for the Tshwane giants to penetrate into their last defensive line, forcing Masandawana to take shots from far. Maboe and Aubrey Modiba nearly saw their long range efforts being rewarded in goal as Collin made fine saves. Shortly after the half hour mark, the visitors found a way out of their own half and charged towards goal, a cross played in met with Florent Rajaoniasy in the box as he headed home and equalized for his side. 

Celebrations for La Passe were cut short by Mailula who added Masandawana’s second goal a minute later to mark his first goal in the senior team. The 21-year old Limpopo born star displayed composure and skills in the box, beating the goalie after receiving a long pass from Sphelele Mkhulise. The Brazilians were not done with their scoring celebrations, Mailula was at the center of the action scoring his second goal in the encounter when the ball bounced off his chest from Modiba’s cross in the box. 

Bafana Ba Style had a three-goal cushion at the break, dominating in possession with 66% to 34%. The second half started off with a chance at goal for Sundowns, Sirino was denied a goal from close range with the goalkeeper coming out to make the save. After 55 minutes of play, Downs made changes and brought in Haashim Domingo, Bradley Ralani and Neo Maema who replaced Sirino, Marcelo Allende and Maboe. Ten minutes later, Gift Motupa and Boutouil were introduced into the affair.

It didn’t take long for Downs to add another goal after the substitutions were made, Motupa got his name on the scoresheet not long after coming on. A superb assist from Maema who cut in with pace and broke through the line, displaying some outstanding footwork connected with Motupa as he netted his first first for the 2022-23 season. The action wasn’t done there, Domingo showed class to execute a goal in style and make his return to action known. Downs were showing no signs of easing off, another goal followed within a few minutes, Mosa Lebusa put the ball back in action with his head towards Maema who pounced on to the opportunity to register his name as well on goal scoring festivities.

La Passe tried to find a way back into the game, but without success, and before long another man in yellow had struck at goal. Mailula hit the ball into goal to mark a hattrick in the encounter, however his thundershot bounced off the goalkeeper for an own goal. The visitors had a chance to score another goal after winning a free kick, however the opportunity was not used up well. 

As the clock hit 90 minutes and the referee added extra time, Downs continued to dominate, Motupa used his late chance to seal a brace, with a cool inside step finishing. Sundowns ended the game with an 8-1 victory and will prepare for the CAF Champions League Group Stages.

This is how we lined up: R. Pieterse, A. Modiba (65′ Boutouil), T. Morena, M. Lebusa ©, B. Zungu, M. Mvala, S. Mkhulise (65′ Motupa), C. Mailula, M. Allende (53′ Ralani), L. Maboe (53′ Maema), G. Sirino (53′ Domingo)

Subs: K. Mweene, A. Jali, A. Boutouil, K. Mudau, B. Ralani, N. Maema, H. Domingo, G. Motupa, N. Maema, T. Kutumela 

4 Responses
  1. Muzi Kunene

    Nice win today with fringe players and if our coaches from now on can select players based on merit not reputation Downs can be deadly once again,I know we’re playing with easy opponents but I still says we got playing personnel at Downs.
    Pls give Shalulile a striking partner not middlefielders like Zwane or Sirino players like Motupa or we can try Mailula the poor boy is struggling because he’s alone upfront. Pirates need to be beaten nomakanjani next week no excuses.

  2. Dalom

    Great game by the boyz. What an improvement by Mkhulise. My man of the match was definitely Thapelo Morena, what a great game he’s had. The fringe players have really raised their hands. It’s that kind of dedication I would like to see from the team week in and week out.

  3. Ronnie Bothma

    Good minutes for Zungu… Morena was efficient… My man of the match was Maema… Despite coming in the second half… Mailula is a good player… Been watching him in the MDC. Ralani was also very good… Very silky… Wish he younger… These are the only type players to use when the opponent plays with a reinforced defense.. Ralani is excellent in those tight spaces… All in all the every played well. We just need to be of overplay… Trying to pass in the 18 when you are in a scoring position… Most players will be flat-footed because they expecting you to take the shot… We squander a lot of chances this way. Especially Allende, he likes to overplay

  4. Mfana

    My Lula Mailula what a gem,low centre of gravity,this is what we have been longing for, a replacement of Zwane?in the near future.Thank you again for fielding Motupa & Botouil.But to speak the truth we can’t gauge how we played against part time footballers but again its not our fault that we had an opponent like that.Lets regroup for our next assignment in the league then it’s the big one MTN8 against Orlando Pirates.What I don’t understand is this conflict of interest thing Loftus Stadium being sponsored by Vodacom,I mean really going all the way to Pokwane to play our home game.We are happy that Zungu finished the game but him Mbule &Motupa are very fat they must respect Sundowns as a brand, hey you three shed those kilos,stop disrespecting us.Thumbs up to the coaches for ensuring that the team doesn’t undermine the opponent and take care of the business of the day by scoring goals as long as they can.Boys you did us proud.