Absa Premiership

Sundowns book CAF CL final spot

2016-09-24 21:15
Percy Tau (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Goals from Anthony Laffor and Percy Tau saw Mamelodi Sundowns win their CAF Champions League semi-final second leg 2-0 against ZESCO United to secure their place in the final.

The Brazilians were 2-1 losers in the first leg played in Zambia, but claimed the all-important victory at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night, to set up a clash with one of Zamalek or Wydad Casablanca by virtue of a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.

The match had barely begun when Laffor powered home from the edge of the 18-yard area after five minutes. The tall striker put pressure on Ayo Oluwafemi to steal the ball away after a good cross from Keagan Dolly from the left-hand side had created the opportunity.

Downs stopper Denis Onyango had to be at his best to deny Jesse Were from scoring a quick-fire equaliser on nine minutes as Simon Silwimba did well to head clear under pressure from Khama Billiat from a good Laffor cross from the right.

Billiat then fired a good central free-kick from 25 yards just over the ZESCO goal as the hosts looked to extend their lead.

The visitors should have done better on 17 minutes when Jackson Mwanza beat Onyango to the ball from a long forward pass, but his touch was just too heavy as the ball bounced off the crossbar and over.

Laffor came agonisingly close to a second with a driven shot that skimmed past the far post as Mwanza failed to wrap his foot around the ball before shooting wide of the right-hand post moments later.

Jacob Banda was quick off his line to make an excellent save from close range from Dolly as he picked up a Tau touch inside the box after a world-class throughball from Billiat to release the player.

Samuel Mabunda smashed an unbelievable strike from at least 40 yards out that cannoned back out off the underside of the crossbar, but it wouldn't have counted with two Sundowns players in an offside position.

Banda made a routine save from Billiat early in the second half after some good approach play before Mwelwa fired well over from the edge of the box.

Those misses for ZESCO were to prove costly as Sundowns doubled their lead through a diving Tau header that ended up in the top left-hand corner of the net. The diminutive Downs players was unmarked as he powered home a pinpoint Langerman cross from the left-hand side.

For a brief moment in the second period, the visitors pegged Sundowns back in their own half, but their route-one football wasn't paying dividends as home defence coped well.

A fantastic sliding tackle from Ben Adama Bahn stopped Dolly from getting on the scoresheet with the game winding down, and with the result so nearly wrapped up, the home side slowed the game right down and kept possession.

Their reward is a place in the final of the 2016 Champions League, with the first leg scheduled for between the 14-16 October and the second leg on 21-23 October 2016.


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