Absa Premiership

Enyimba see off Sundowns

2016-08-23 20:17
pitso mosimane
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Enyimba International Football Club defeated Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 in their dead-rubber CAF Champions League Group B encounter at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium on Tuesday evening.

With the Brazilians having already secured their place in the semi-finals of the competition, and with an important MTN8 clash with rivals SuperSport United on Sunday, coach Pitso Mosimane fielded a weakened side, but it was nevertheless the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams.

However, despite all of their possession, it was Enyimba who created the first real chance of the match with Mfon Udoh set through on goal after just five minutes, but Sundowns stopper Wayne Sandilands was quick off his line to thwart the opportunity.

Sundowns continued to dominate possession without penetrating their opponents' defence, with Anthony Laffor ruled to be offside after latching on to a good through ball from Teko Modise.

Enyimba, though, were first to break the deadlock, after 25 minutes, as right-back Akubueze John smashed a thunderbolt of a free-kick straight into the back of the net after Stephen Chukwude was fouled 25 yards from goal.

The goal appeared to invigorate the hosts who quickly went in search of a second; and Peter Onyekachi showed a good turn of pace to beat Themba Zwane down the right flank, but his cross was just too high for the awaiting Chukwude.

Daniel Ettor saw his 27th minute shot from outside the box easily saved by Sandilands, as Udoh followed with a curled effort narrowly wide of the left upright just minutes later.

And just when it appeared as if Sundowns were being outplayed, Percy Tau headed home from inside the box on 34 minutes to bring the sides level once again.

The midfielder had popped up on the right-hand side before driving down the touchline and cutting the ball back to Zwane, whose blocked shot then inadvertency fell to Tau - and with his back to goal, he deftly flicked the ball into the net.

Enyimba were to have the final say of the first half, one minute into injury time, as Udoh dispossessed Marlin after a poor backpass from Rheece Evans, who then rounded the keeper before slotting the ball home.

The second half started with an audacious bicycle kick from Laffor that flew just wide of the left hand post, but Enyimba were soon in the ascendancy again with Udoh netting from the penalty spot on 50 minutes after Evans had fouled Chukwude inside the box.

Heavy rains were making the game largely unplayable with the second half mostly a scrappy affair as water stared to collect on the pitch.

Sandilands, unperturbed by the manner in which he conceded earlier in the game, came storming out to dispossess Peter Onyekachi, only to be tackled himself, although Onyekachi's subsequent shot failed to reach the target.

Enyinba looked the more likely to add to their tally but Chukwude's cross from the left was played in just behind Chukwude late on, as Sandilands denied Daniel Ettor after again coming way out of his box to deal with the danger.

The underfire stopper then made an excellent save to deny John a second on the night but with the ball completely holding up by this points, it was just a case of running out the time for both sides.


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