Downs take control of Group A

CAF Champions League

Downs controlled the match and should have won by a more comfortable margin were it not for some wasteful finishing. Credit to Pitso Mosimane's side for bouncing back from a disappointing week which featured losses to Chippa United and AmaZulu.

Sundowns bossed the early exchanges and took just over ten minutes to break the deadlock and get themselves off to a perfect start.

Gaston Sirino found space on the left flank, getting to the byline before whipping in an excellent ball for defender Mosa Lebusa to head home in the 10th minute.

Soon after, Lebusa turned from hero to villain when he pushed Salif Bagate in the penalty area with the Tunisian referee having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Ahmed Herve Diomande calmly dispatched the penalty into the top-right corner to level matters at 1-1.

On the half-hour mark, the visitors almost took the lead when Alphonse Yao's corner was flicked on and headed inches wide by centre-back Wonlo Coulibaly. This, despite the Brazilians still dominating territory and possession.

It was clear from having played three matches in six days, the hosts were tiring towards the end of the first half with ASEC actually finishing the stronger as the sides headed into the interval.

The home side started the second half like a house on fire, having two good chances in quick succession in the opening five minutes. First, Anthony Laffor was denied by an excellent save from Abdoulkarim Cisse after superb interplay between Themba Zwane and Sirino before Maboe hit the post with a close-range header moments later.

In the 53rd minute, the Brazilians would not be denied. Sirino, who was orchestrating things in midfield for the hosts, played Lyle Lakay in on the overlap who crossed for Zwane to score a simple tap-in from close range.

Skipper Hlompho Kekana then hit the post from a direct free-kick in the 65th minute as Mosimane's side came agonisingly close to a third. Ten minutes later, they were dubiously denied what appeared to be a legitimate goal for offside.

Sundowns would have been wondering how it was possible that they were only one goal ahead after wasting a series of gilt-edged opportunities. They were almost punished for their wasteful finishing when Denis Onyango was forced into a fine save from a scorcher of a long-range effort.

The third goal would come eventually in stoppage time when Zwane found new signing Emiliano Tade in the area, who chipped the ball over Cisse to cap a memorable debut and secure the three points for his side.


Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Nascimento, Lebusa, Lakay, Kekana, Mabunda, Laffor, Zwane, Maboe, Sirino.

Subs: Mweene, Langerman, Tade, Ngcongca, Mahlambi, Coetzee, Mkhulise.