Downs begin CAFCL with a point
Posted: 5 May 2018 Time: 19:38
Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca opened their CAF Champions League Group C journies with a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening.
Downs made a dream start as they went ahead after three minutes when a shot from Khama Billiat was blocked away and the follow-up by Sibusiso Vilakazi was bundled in for an own-goal by Comara.
The Moroccans made an early change, subsequently for tactical reasons as Naim Aarab replaced Amine Attouchi on 13 minutes.
It was all Downs and they managed to carve open the defence once more to bring in Themba Zwane, but he failed to hit the target, sending his effort wide.
Just as they were getting comfortable, the Brazilians were taken out of their stride when Ismail El-Haddad fired in the equalizer on 20 minutes.
It was almost a second for the visitors on 35 minutes when Nekkach ran behind the defence following a through ball to go one-on-one with Denis Onyango, but he blasted into the stands.
After the break, Gaston Sirino went close to giving Downs the same start they had in the first half after finding his way through goal, but he somehow missed from a glorious position.
Captain Hlompho Kekana almost regained the lead with one of his trademark strikes, but his effort to goal was diverted for a corner by Comara.
The Reds, who dethroned Downs as continental champions last year, looked dangerous every time they broke on the counter.
It was through such an instance that they nearly caught Downs out but Hakkach’s shot was of no trouble to Onyango, who saved easily on 69 minutes.
The visitors were content to adopt their transition play approach, with the Brazilians piling on the pressure late on but, despite 89 percent possession in the final 10 minutes, the Absa Premiership champions were unable to find the win.
Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Nascimento, Madisha, Morena, Mabunda, Kekana, Zwane, Vilakazi, Sirino, Billiat.
Subs: Razak, Manyisa, Lebese, Brockie, Ngcongca, Zulu, Soumahoro.
Wydad: El Kharroubi, Gadarine, 3Nahiri, Attouchi, Comara, Saidi, Ibrahim Nekkach, Mohamed Ounnajem, El Karti, El Haddad, Tighazoui.