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HomeAfrican Football LeagueSundowns Lose AFL First Leg But Get Away Goal

Sundowns Lose AFL First Leg But Get Away Goal

Mamelodi Sundowns have lost their first leg in the African Football League 2-1 at Stade Mohamed in Casablanca but got the important away goal.

Rulani Mokwena opted to make two changes in comparison to the team that started at Al Ahly on Wednesday, with Tebogo Mokoena and Lesiba Nku starting in place of Mothobi Mvala and Gaston Sirino.

Wydad were dominating proceedings in the first half, but failed to create too many real chances for large parts.

Both sides were looking to capitalise on set-pieces, but both defences showed why the two teams made the final, letting the opposition attacks create very little.

Sundowns had their best chance in the 39th minute when Lesiba Nku was played in on a counter, but his shot from inside the box only hit the side netting.

Wydad eventually found the breakthrough after Abdelmounaim Boutouil was turned on the edge of the box and Rivaldo Coetzee put the cross over the line of his own goal in the 41st minute.

The hosts almost made it two in the 56th when a free-kick from the hosts sailed past everyone and missed Ronwen Williams’ goal by just a few inches.

Sundowns had a good chance on the 64th minute when Mokoena tested Youssef El Motie with a free-kick, but the Wydad keeper pushed the ball over the bar.

Masandawana pilled on the pressure the following five minutes, getting successive corners and the ball falling in front of Mokoena’s feet but his shot appeared to be blocked by the hands of a Wydad defender – and the match official pointed to the spot after VAR review.

Boutouil stepped up and slotted home the important equaliser to silence the crowd at Stade Mohamed V in his home country.

However, Sundowns’ lead didn’t last long as a poor clearance by Marcelo Allende ended up with Anas Serrhat, who scored with a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

Wydad almost scored a third in the 86th minute but a shot from outside the box by Hamdou Elhouni following a counter only hit the bar.

It was Mokwena’s first defeat in a CAF inter club competition since he became sole head coach, but it’s all to play for in the second leg, where a 1-0 win would be enough for Downs to lift the trophy.

David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.