Absa Premiership

Sundowns in danger of Africa exit after loss

2018-08-18 08:02
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns are in danger of failing to progress from the CAF Champions League group stages after being beaten 1-0 by Wydad Casablanca on Friday night.

Pitso Mosimane's side dropped to third place in Group C before the encounter at Stade Mohamed V after Horoya cliched a 2-1 victory over Togo Port earlier that evening.

The 2016 African champions worked hard to keep the score deadlocked at the break, but Anas El Asbahi broke their resistance early in the second half to secure Wydad's passage into the next round.

Mamelodi Sundowns withstood large amounts of pressure from the hosts in the first half, with a partizan Casablancan crowd in attendance.

The Brazilians didn't just sit back and defend, though, as Anthony Laffor had the first real sight at goal but failed to keep his shot down in the opening stages.

Abdelhadi Sektioui's troops ramped up the pressure as the half progressed and created a good opening in the 31st minute, only to be thwarted by a fine save from Denis Onyango.

That was the only real scare for Masandawana before the break, but they went behind just 11 minutes into the second half.

Onyango was well beaten on this occasion as El Asbahi unleashed a powerful shot from long range that flew into the back of the net to open the scoring.

The visitors looked to respond as skipper Hlompho Kekana missed the target with a snapshot, before being replaced by recent signing Lebohang Maboe on 65 minutes.

The Emperor resorted to time-wasting tactics in the closing stages as Sundowns applied late pressure in an attempt to rescue the match.

After Yassine El Kharroubi punched away a whipped-in free-kick from Jose Meza on the left in the 82nd minute, Wydad survived a penalty appeal moments later when Sibusiso Vilakazi's cross appeared to strike the defender's arm.

Meza had a glorious chance to equalise four minutes later after Salah Saidi gifted the ball straight to him on the edge of the area, but the substitute's tame effort was easily saved by El Kharroubi.

Motjeka Madisha went close in stoppage time as he connected with a low corner at the near post, but his first-time strike flew wide of the goal.


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