Masandawana march into CAF final
Posted: 24 September 2016 Time: 18:23
Mamelodi Sundowns booked their place in the CAF Champions League final after a 2-0 semi-final, second-leg win over Zesco United at Lucas Moripe Stadium to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Anthony Laffor gave Sundowns the perfect start after just five minutes, burying a close-range shot after the ball fell fortuitously to him in the area following good work from Keagan Dolly down the left. The Liberian controlled a poor defensive header, touched the ball skilfully over a defender and lashed home emphatically.
It was an open game at Lucas Moripe Stadium and Zesco were not without their chances, and struck the woodwork in the 17th minute when Jackson Mzwana went through on goal before chipping Denis Onyango, only to see his effort land on top of the crossbar.
Mwanza and his Zesco teammates kept pushing for the away-goal that would have kept them in the tie and made some positive running at the Sundowns defence, always looking dangerous, but Onyango was also on hand to save when called upon.
Dolly had a chance to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute after he and Percy Tau went through on goal but the midfielder didn't get enough purchase behind the shot as the Zesco goalkeeper saved.
Tiyani Mabunda, who had an oustanding gam ein the heart of midfield, also struck the woodwork just before half-time, hitting a thundersous drive from range that cannoned back off the crossbar.
Then Sundowns gave themselves the cushion they needed with a second goal in the 64th minute, and it came from Tau. Tebogo Langerman, whose crosses had been dangerous all night, picked out the forward unmarked in the area and Tau executed a perfect header back cross the goalkeeper and into the top-left corner.
The Brazilians had chances to wrap up the game after the second goal went in but tended to overelaborate in the final third, but ultimately managed to hold on comfortably enough as Zesco failed to trouble Onyango.
Sundowns will compete in the CAF Champions League final next month on the weekends of 14 and 21 October and are likely to face Egyptian giants Zamalek.
Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Mbekile, Arendse, Nthethe, Langerman, Kekana (c), Mabunda (Soumahoro 88'), Tau (Modise 79'), Laffor, Dolly, Billiat
Zesco United: Banda, Oluwafemi, Bahn, Odhiambo, Silwimba, Ching'andu (Kambole 62'), Chaila, Chama, Mtonga (Mbombo 73'), Mwanza (Mwape 59'), Were