Mamelodi Sundowns suffered their first defeat in the CAF Champions League as they went down by two goals to nil to CR Belouizdad at Loftus Versfeld. Despite the result, Masandawana finished the group on top with thirteen points and qualified for the last eight. A couple of changes were made to the starting eleven by the technical team from the team that last did duty in the last group stages game against Al Hilal in Sudan.
The game started with a high intensity as both sides wanted to get the first goal to ease off the pressure, the first chance fell for Aubrey Modiba in the twelfth minute from a free-kick and his set-piece was deflected for a corner. Captain Hlompho Kekana tried his trademark long-range shot with his left foot but his effort went wide of goal. A few minutes later Peter Shalulile had an opportunity to add to his three goals in the competition as he showed strength in the box and his resulting shot was saved by the keeper.
With the game slowly opening up Kekana had another crack but his effort sailed over the bar. The visitors found the opener in the twenty-ninth minute as they capitalised on a misplaced pass by Ricardo Goss. Masandawana kept pushing for the equaliser but the CR Belouizdad defence kept them at bay. As the opening half was coming to an end and Le Grand Chabab found the second goal for the day as they headed the ball home to make the score 2-0.
In the second half, changes were made to add pressure to the visiting team, the likes of Lesedi Kapinga, Promise Mkhuma and Gift Motupa were thrown in to beef up the attack. Goss was again called in to make a save in the sixty-first minute from a long-range shot taken. Lebo Maboe also made his way to the field and did not take long to get into gear as he took a shot but it did not trouble the keeper.
Masandawana kept on pushing for the goal as the clock was ticking and were awarded a free-kick, the resulting kick was blocked by the wall. Lyle Lakay tried also to get the ball in the back of the net but his shot went over. The game ended with the visitors getting the maximum points. Bafana Ba Style and Le Grand Chabab qualify to the knockout stages as the top two teams.
How we lined up: Goss, Mudau (Mkhuma 54′), Onyango, Nascimento, Modiba ( Lakay 67′), Mvala (Motupa 54′), Kekana,Maluleka (Kapinga 54′), Morena, Vilakazi ( Maboe 67′), Shalulile
Subs: Pieterse, De Reuck, Kapinga, Mkhuma, Maboe, Motupa,Lakay.
SOURCED FROM DOWNS WEBSITE.