Football

DOWNS HELD TO A GOALLESS DRAW IN DAR ES SALAAM

Mamelodi Sundowns played to a goalless draw in a mouthwatering clash against Young Africans FC in their first leg of the CAF Champions League quarterfinals on Saturday evening at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium.

The visit in Dar es Salaam saw Coach Rulani’s side welcome back Lucas Ribeiro and Thapelo Maseko, who created a few chances in attempt to break the deadlock for the away team.

Yanga was the first with a chance, a minute into the encounter but the straight shot was quickly blocked by Downs’ shot stopper, Ronwen Williams, to deny the Tanzanian titans an early opener.

Coach Rulani was forced to make a change before the 15-minute mark, following an injury Bongani Zungu sustained. Aubrey Modiba was then introduced in space of Zungu who could not continue.

Masandawana struggled to find the box in the tight contest, despite dominating possession in the first stanza. Yanga created more chances but Coach Rulani’s rearguard made important saves.

Shortly before the break, two dangerous chances from the visitors almost saw them take the lead. The first one came from Ribeiro’s low driven shot after he took it from a tight angle, causing the Yanga goalkeeper to cushion the ball. The second chance came from Teboho Mokoena through a long-range effort, which almost startled the Yanga men.

The second stanza saw the hosts have better chances, despite the Brazilians’ hold to possession. Coach Rulani’s charges were threatened a couple of times but they defended in numbers to contest for the ball. A chance came from Yanga after the hour mark, seeing Kennedy Musonda in a one-on-one situation with Williams but Williams made a critical save.

The titanic tussle was concluded with Bafana Ba Style attempting a last gasp chance through Mokoena, who captained the Pretoria-based side. His famous long-range strike from a set piece slightly went over the crossbar, to deny his side a goal. The encounter ended in a goalless tie and Masandawana will look to restore parity when they host their counterparts on Friday evening in Pretoria for the second leg.

How we lined up: Williams, Lebusa, Kekana, Zungu, Mudau, Lunga, Mokoena ©, Lorch, Allende, Ribeiro, Shalulile.

Substitutes: D. Onyango, Esquivel, Modiba, Aubaas, Mkhulise, Morena, Maseko, Mvala, Matthews.

SOURCED FROM THE MAMELODI SUNDOWN’S WEBSITE.

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