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HomeCAF Champions LeagueSundowns Fall At CAFCL Semi-Final Hurdle Again

Sundowns Fall At CAFCL Semi-Final Hurdle Again

Mamelodi Sundowns were knocked out in the CAF Champions League semi-final by Esperance Sportive de Tunis after losing 1-0 at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening.

Sundowns started the game on the front foot as they needed to with a 1-0 deficit needed to be overturned from the first leg in Tunis last week.

The had the first chance inside just three minutes when Peter Shalulile shot from a tight angle but it was saved by the ES Tunis goalkeeper Amenallah Memmiche.

But after 21 minutes the game was halted after a lightening storm hovered over Loftus Versfeld, forcing an hour delay before the game resumed.

Shalulile had a massive chance after 40 minutes, but his header from close range was pushed over the bar by Memmiche, while Marcelo Allende and Divine Lunga also had half chances – but the score remained goalless going into the break.

Shalulile had another golden opportunity to score after 53 minutes but his attempt to toe-poke the ball past Memmiche hit the outside of the post, while a minute later Thapelo Morena just missed the target with a volley.

As Sundowns were pilling on the pressure, Esperance appeared in front of Williams’ goal for the first time in the second half and half-time substitute Raed Bouchniba put the ball past the Masandawana goalkeeper much against the run of play.

Aubrey Modiba hit the bar with a superb strike after 81 minutes, making it another CAF Champions League evening to forget for Rulani Mokwena and his men.

Despite the heartbreak, there was a silver-lining on the night as Masandawana qualified for the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup after Al Ahly knocked out TP Mazembe in the other semi-final.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.
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