Monday, May 27, 2024
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Sundowns Into CAFCL Semi

Mamelodi Sundowns beat Young Africans 3-2 in a penalty shootout to advance to the semi-final of the CAF Champions League.

It was in the end, a penalty shootout that decided who would go through to the next round after a second goalless draw between the two African giants in a week. Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams was once again the hero, as he saved two penalties to secure Rulani Mokwena’s team’s passage into the last four.

With the game evenly poised at 0-0 from the first leg in Dar es Salaam there was an atmosphere of genuine excitement within Loftus which was painted Yellow by the Masandawana faithful.

But Yanga once again showed their defensive prowess which was evident in the first leg, holding the home side to limited clear cut chances.

Thembinkosi Lorch had the first opportunity in the opening half but was denied at close range by the eccentric Djigui Diarra.

It remained goalless at the break and the stakes grew higher and higher for both sides but it was the Tanzanians who almost took the lead when Stephane Aziz Ki’s effort rocketed off the cross bar and appeared to have cross the line – only for VAR to rule the effort out.

A couple of changes were made after with Clement Mzizi coming on for Kennedy Musonda and Thapelo Maseko for Themba Zwane – injecting searing pace into both line ups for the final twenty minute.

It opened up to be an end to end affair with both sides looking to find the winner and a place in the semi-finals of Africa’s elite club competition.

They had another close-range effort spurned shortly after by Mzizi which went just wide.

Neo Maema went just wide as the game ticked into stoppage time, and after Lucas Ribeiro aired a late bicycle kick from an elaborate free kick, it ended 0-0 and penalties were needed.

Williams saved two of the first three penalties, and while Gaston Sirino’s effort was saved, Yanga missed their last, and Sundowns confirmed their place in the last four.

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.