African News 22.6.2017 11:14 am

Esperance, Sundowns share the spoils

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Sundowns during the CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Esperance. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Sundowns during the CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Esperance. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Sundowns, now on 5 points from 4 matches, will now have to pull out all the stops if they hope to make the quarterfinal knockout stages.

Mamelodi Sundowns collected a valuable point away from home, as they played to a goalless draw with Esperance in a Caf Champions League Group C match at the Stade El Menzah Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Playing in front of 30 000 partisan home team fans, Sundowns found themselves involved in a tense physical encounter, with the best chance of the match for the visitors, falling to Percy Tau halfway through the first half.

However, the attacking Bafana Bafana player failed to get full power behind the shot with his left foot and Esperance’s Tunisian national team No 2 goalkeeper Ben Cherifia Moez was able to pull off the save.

For Esperance, big centre forward Ben Youssef Fakhreddine got powerful headers on target in both halves, but Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango was able to get his body behind the ball to save on both occasions.

Sundowns striker Yannick Zakri was involved in several physical tussles throughout the match as he was seemingly man-handled to the ground when trying to break from the Esperance defenders.

The South Africans seemed to play in a higher gear ratio than what they did when they were beaten 2-1 by Esperance in Atteridgeville on June 2, and had the better of the chances and possession.

While the Sundowns midfielders were not given much time on the ball by their counterparts to create build up opportunities, the Sundowns defence held firm against most goal-bound raids from Esperance with full-backs Tebogo Langerman and Anele Ngcongca, always in the thick of things. Centre backs Motjeka Madisha and Bangaly Soumahoro also held firm in front of Onyango.

Sundowns, now on 5 points from 4 matches, will now have to pull out all the stops if they hope to make the quarterfinal knockout stages. Their remaining group matches are against Ethiopian side St George in Addis Ababa on July 1, and at home to A.S Vita six days later.

The point against Sundowns took group leaders Esperance to 8 points from 4 games, with their remaining fixtures being away to A.S Vita on July 1 and a home fixture against St George on July 7

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results

Chiefs 1-0 Wits
Sundows 2-2 Highlands
Arrows 2-1 Pirates

fixtures

psl log

# Team GP Pts
1 Bidvest Wits 30 60
2 Sundowns 30 57
3 Cape Town City 30 55
4 Kaizer Chiefs 30 50
5 SuperSport United 30 48
6 Polokwane City 30 43
7 Maritzburg Utd 30 38
8 Arrows 30 38
9 Platinum Stars 30 37
10 Ajax Cape Town 30 36
11 Orlando Pirates 30 33
12 Bloemfontein Celtic 30 29
13 Chippa United 30 28
14 Free State Stars 30 28
15 Baroka FC 30 28
16 Highlands Park 30 27

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