Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeBundesligaSundowns Suffer First-Leg Blow

Sundowns Suffer First-Leg Blow

Mamelodi Sundowns lost the first leg in the CAF Champions League semi-final 1-0 at Esperance Sportive de Tunis.

Rulani Mokwena opted to leave misfiring striker Peter Shalulile on the bench, while Teboho Mokwena missed the match due the injury he picked up against Moroka Swallows.

Sundowns had the first real chance of the game when a fine strike by Lucas Ribeiro Costa was pushed against the bar by ES goalkeeper Amanallah Memmiche after 16 minutes, however, the goal wouldn’t have counted as the flag was up.

It was a feisty affair through large parts of the half but the action heated up properly 10 minutes before the break.

Sundowns had the ball in the back of the net after 37 minutes but Thembinkosi Lorch was offside in the build-up.

The hosts responded immediately and hit the post on the other side before Divine Lunga saved the follow up with a superb goal line clearance.

Esperance did find the opener after 40 minutes when Rodrigo Rodrigues set up fellow Brazilian Yan Sasse with a superb pass to break the lines and Sasse beating Ronwen Williams from the rebound after the Downs goalkeeper got a touch.

Thembinkosi Lorch had a good chance to equalise three minutes into the second half but he fired his shot over after being set up by Ribeiro Costa.

The visitors tried to push for much of the season half but struggled to open up the Esperance defence, while the hosts were happy to sit back and attempt to hurt Downs on the counter.

Sundowns had a late chance after a powerful shot by Mothobi Mvala, but the Esperance keeper pushed it over the bar.

Mokwena’s men now need to beat Esperance at home to book their ticket for this year’s CAFCL final.

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.