African Soccer 28.7.2018 11:19 am

Sundowns keep Champions League hopes alive

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2018 CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AS Togo Port at Lucas Moripe Stadium (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2018 CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AS Togo Port at Lucas Moripe Stadium (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Mamelodi Sundowns defeated AS Togo-Port 2-1 in their CAF Champions League Group C match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Friday night.

With the visitors playing a defensive game having beaten Sundowns 1-0 in the fixture played in Togo on July 17, Gastón Sirino managed to put Sundowns ahead in the 10th minute in finishing off a move with a low shot from close range after a pass from Themba Zwane.

Six minutes later, it was the turn of Sirino to be the provider for striker Sibusiso Vilakazi to score with a back-heel, and at 2-0 up, the game was starting to look rather easy for the hosts.

With ten minutes to go before halftime, Fousseni Yacoubou forced Sundowns No 1 Denis Onyango to pull off a spectacular save, but other than that, the Lome-based side seemed short of ideas in terms of how to breakdown the home team’s defensive pattern.

Earlier, New Zealander Jeremy Brockie could only watch as his goal-bound effort was cleared off the Togo-Port goal-line in the 25th minute and left-back defender Tebogo Langerman saw his attempt kept out by visiting goalkeeper Jean-Robert Klomegan with 15 minutes of time remaining in the second half.

Any hopes that Sundowns had of keeping a clean sheet fell by the wayside, when the visitors scored with just three minutes left on the clock, courtesy of Kokou Kloukpo’s shot taken from inside the box.

The win revived Sundowns’ chances of progressing to the knockout stages in the premier competition on the continent.

Besides the away loss to AS Togo-Port, the men from Chloorkop has been held to draws away against Guinea’s Horoya (2-2) and at home to Wydad Casablanca (1-1).

Next up for Sundowns in the group stage, will be a tricky away match against Wydad Casablanca on August 17, before hosting Horoya on August 28.

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