Sundowns Draw In The DRC
Themba Zwane scored a brace, but Mamelodi Sundowns began their CAF Champions League campaign on Saturday with 2-2 draw in their first leg second preliminary round match against AS Maniema in the DRC.
The two will meet again next weekend for the second leg at Loftus Stadium.
While Sundowns took the lead in just the ninth minute with Themba Zwane opening the score for the Brazilians, they found a hard running opponent in the Congolese team.
And Maniema drew level in the 36th minute when Kitwa Kalowa took advatange of a defensive error from Mosa Lebusa, robbing him of the ball to break free before rounding Denis Onyango to score.
Sundowns went close to taking the lead again just before halftime, but Pavel Safranko’s header hit the crossbar, and at the break it remained 1-1.
Sundowns looked to take control of the game in the second half, and began to hold onto the possession, but they weren’t finding the rhythm they would have liked, and Maniema continued to threaten on the counter, with the 24-year-old Kalowa particularly causing problems.
Sundowns grabbed the lead again in the 84th minute, with a good team goal, Zwane finishing off well after some neat interplay with Sibusiso Vilakazi.
But Maniema were not done and were level again in the 89th minute as substitute Tenda Mutuila left Onyango with no chance with his long range attempt.