Sundowns cruise, Chiefs crushed in CAF Champions League


Johannesburg (AFP) – South African clubs had vastly contrasting fortunes in the CAF Champions League Sunday with Mamelodi Sundowns romping to a four-goal victory and Kaizer Chiefs suffering a four-goal hiding.

Themba Zwane scored twice as Sundowns took advantage of Algerian opponents CR Belouizdad having Chouaib Keddad sent off after only three minutes to win 5-1 in Dar es Salaam.

Slack defending contributed to Chiefs crashing 4-0 against Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca in Ouagadougou and they finished with 10 men after Ramahlwe Mphahlele was red-carded.

The home matches of Belouizdad and Wydad were played in Tanzania and Burkina Faso respectively because Moroccan and Algerian coronavirus regulations forbid entry to South Africans.

Victory for Sundowns lifted them to six points in Group B after two matchdays, four more than five-time African champions TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Al Hilal of Sudan and Belouizdad, who conceded only once in five previous Champions League matches this season, share third place with one point each.

Wydad, who have been champions, runners-up, and semi-finalists twice in the past five seasons, top Group C with six points, followed by Horoya of Guinea with four.

Chiefs, who have reached the group stage for the first time after five failed attempts, have one point and Petro Luanda of Angola none.

In an empty Dar es Salaam stadium due to Covid-19 protocols, Sundowns punished a hand-ball by Keddad, which resulted in his expulsion, when Zwane converted the resulting penalty. 

– Onyango injured –

Amir Sayoud levelled just before half-time with his fifth goal of the campaign and Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango retired after being injured trying to prevent the goal. 

Namibian Peter Shalulile headed Sundowns into the lead again just after the break and Zwane finished a brilliant chip from Uruguayan Gaston Sirino with 55 minutes gone.

A superb multi-pass movement ended with Lebohang Maboe rifling a low shot past Gaya Merbah to make it 4-1 and substitute Kermit Erasmus completed the rout with a tap-in. 

Playing in Ouagadougou was a challenge for Wydad and Chiefs as the temperature soared to 38 degrees celsius (100 fahrenheit) in the west African city.

The fixture had been postponed three times, first when Morocco barred Chiefs, then the South Africans could not obtain visas in time to visit Egypt, and finally after the Cairo match venue became unavailable.

After keeping five consecutive clean sheets in Africa this season, Chiefs fell behind after just seven minutes as Mohamed Ounajem sneaked in at the far post to poke the ball into the net.

Star forward Ayoub el Kaabi doubled the advantage before half-time and late goals from Tanzanian Simon Msuva and Yahya Jabrane, from a penalty, completed the humiliation of the Soweto outfit.

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