Wydad pip Downs to top spot

Sundowns entered the match on a good run of form on all fronts after ascending top spot in the Absa Premiership with a midweek win over Maritzburg United.

With three changes instituted in Wayne Arendse, Lyle Lakay and Phakamani Mahlambi, Sundowns needed Denis Onyango to stave off Michael Babatunde’s close-range shot on five minutes.

A mistimed saved from Onyango landed to Mohammed Nahiri, who failed to steer home with the goal gaping at the midway stage.

Sundowns edged closer to a breakthrough, with Mahlambi’s curler from the right side flashing past the top corner on 26 minutes.

Ismail El Hadad pushed for the opener near halftime, but Onyango once more saved from point blank range to conclude the first half.

It appeared that the Brazilians were looking to consolidate the encounter, but an offensive substitution in Emiliano Tade for Mahlambi seemingly changed their perspective just before the hour mark.

With little clear-cut openings early on, the Moroccans broke the deadlock on 62 minutes through a scorching curler from Mohamed Nahiri that gave Onyango no chance.

Late on, Ricardo Nascimento went close to bagged the equaliser but Ahmed Tagnaouti made an outstanding one-handed save to keep the defender at bay.

In the final minutes, Sundowns were unable to find a way back into the clash as Wydad saw out the win to secure top spot in the group, while Sundowns finish as runners-up.

Teams:

Wydad: Tangaouti, Nousir, Dari, Jabrane, Nahiri, El Karti, Saidi, Nakach, El Haddad, Babatunde, Ounnajem.

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Arendse, Nascimento, Langerman, Zwane, Kekana, Mabunda, Lakay, Mahlambi, Maboe.

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