Although Mamelodi Sundowns travelled with a full strength squad for their dead-rubber match against Nigerian giants Enyimba, however, as expected, coach Pitso Mosimane fielded a fairly weaker team for the Champions League encounter at the Port Harcourt stadium.
Mosimane opted to start without newly appointed captain Hlompho Kekana, defender Wanye Arendse, and forwards Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat, while star player Keagan Dolly did not travell with the team as he is nursing an ankle strain which he carried from the Rio Olympics.
Masandawana found themselves trailing in the 24th minute after Uche John’s rocket free-kick gave the hosts a lead, but Percy Tau, who has been a revelation for Mosimane in the competition, levelled matters ten minutes later with a flicking header.
However, on the stroke of half-time, goalkeeper Wanye Sandilands was dispossessed off the ball after committing a school-boy error – failing to control a back-pass – which saw Mfon Udoh passing the ball into an empty net.
Enyimba’s physically and wet swmming pool-looking pitch proved to be a menace for Sundowns’ Rheece Evans, who brought down Udoh in the penalty box to concede a penalty, which the 24-year-old Udoh slotted cooly to restore the lead.
The hosts salvaged their pride with a 3-1 win, and can draw solace from Udoh’s scoring habits which currently leaves him as the competition’s leading goalscorer with nine goals to his name.
Nonetheless, the result had no significance in terms of the group standings as the hosts stood no chance of advancing to the semifinals – following three successive defeats which left them pointlessly rooted to the bottom of the group table. The three-team Group B sees Sundowns advance as group winners, while Egyptian side Zamalek quality as runners-up.