International

Sundowns march on to CAF CL group stages

2018-03-19 07:39
Sibusiso Vilakazi and Tebogo Langerman (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns got the job done on a drenched Loftus Versfeld pitch as they beat 10-man Rayon Sports 2-0 to advance to the CAF Champions League group stages.

Pitso Mosimane's side held the Rwandan outfit to a goalless draw in Kigali in the first leg of their play-off tie, and goals either side of the break from Wayne Arendse and Sibusiso Vilakazi in Pretoria secured their passage into the next round of Africa's elite club competition.

The visitors finished the game with 10 men after substitute Caleb Bimenyimana saw red for a poor challenge on Tebogo Langerman in the final minute.

Sundowns would boss the second leg, although they survived an early scare when Denis Onyango pulled off an outstanding save to keep out a rasping effort in the fourth minute.

The hosts moved into the ascendancy around the 10-minute mark which led to attempts from Hlompho Kekana, Gaston Sirino and Percy Tau all narrowly missing the target.

The visiting defence eventually cracked in the 34th minute having failed to deal with a corner aimed towards the near post, where Arendse was left with a simple finish to open the scoring.

Gikundiro had Jean-Luc Ndayishimiye to thank for keeping them in the contest at half-time after the keeper denied Tau at close range in the closing stages of the first half.

The Brazilians switched off at the start of the second half as Hussein Shabani found himself clean through on goal, but he failed to capitalise on the gilt-edged opportunity by firing over with just Onyango to beat.

They recovered quickly, and Gaston Sirino was unlucky to see his curling effort from distance come back off the crossbar in the 55th minute, although Vilakazi was on hand to slot home on the rebound.

Tau went close to extend Downs' lead when he surged through the defence to go clear on goal in the 66th minute, but Ndayishimiye produced a smart save to parry his shot behind.

A flowing move involving Tau, Vilakazi and Zwane presented a chance for the latter 15 minutes from time. However, Zwane too was denied by Ndayishimiye, who enjoyed a good match between the sticks.

The contest finished on a sour note for Ivan Minnaert' men when Bimenyimana received a straight red card for a reckless tackle on Langerman at the death.

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