Sundowns respond with an emphatic victory
By Neo Poho
Mamelodi Sundowns are in the driving seat ahead of the second leg of the CAF Champions League quarter-final encounter against CR Belouizdad of Algeria.
This follows Sundowns' emphatic 4-1 victory in the first leg of the tie over CR Belouizdad at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algeria on Saturday night.
Coming to the clash at the back of a 2-1 loss to Stellenbosch FC last weekend in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank, the Brazilians returned back to their winning ways as their quest for a second CAF Champions League crown continues.
Namibian striker Peter Shalulile broke the deadlock as early as the 6th minute with a brilliant header that met with Aubrey Modiba's superb cross in the box.
Neo Maema then concluded a beautiful move from Sundowns to double the lead for Rhulani Mokwena's men in the 20th minute.
Sundowns were on song in the opening 30 minutes causing all sorts of problems for CR Belouizdad in the final third until CR Belouizdad eventually found their rhythm in the encounter.
With the hosts gradually beginning to recover their composure in their build up going forward, Miloud Rebai pulled a goal back just at the stroke of halftime when he got on the end of a corner kick and nodded home to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Just like in the first half, Sundowns began the second 45 minutes of the match like a house on fire scoring their third goal of the tie in the 51st minute when Thapelo Morena put on Shalulile for his second on the night and third for Sundowns.
Shalulile's second goal meant that it was his 100th career goal for Sundowns since he joined the team in 2020 until date.
Substitute Cassius Mailula then sealed the victory for Mokwena's charges late in referees' added time.
The second leg will be played at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane on Saturday the 29th of April 2023.
The aggregate winner will then face either Simba SC or Wydad Casablanca in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League.