Mamelodi Sundowns got off to the perfect start in the CAF Champions League 2021 season with a 2-0 win over Al Hilal Omdurman. The clash saw the return of Mothobi Mvala to the starting eleven after missing league games due to suspension. Newly-signed Rushine De Reuck made the bench for the first time since joining The Brazilians. The two sides were meeting for the third -time in the competition with the last time being in 2008.
The Brazilians showed intent as early as the first minute when Lebo Maboe found himself in a good area and put in a cross which narrowly missed the target. Themba Zwane also got into the thick of things as he had his effort saved by the visitor’s keeper in the eighth minute. It took ten minutes for Masandawana to take the lead as Mosa Lebusa rose highest to head home his first for the season and the opener for the day.
Sphelele Mkhulise almost doubled the lead but his shot was saved by the keeper. The returning Mvala rose in the air and his header went wide of the post of the visiting team. Peter Shalulile came close as he just missed the ball with a few centimetres from a Gaston Sirino cross. The first stanza ended with the Brazilians leading one-nil.
The side from Omdurman stepped up their intensity in the second half and were chasing the equaliser, Denis Onyango who was not called into action in the first half was called into action early in the second half, as he saved a low driven free-kick. The 2016 Champions showed dominance in the second half and kept pushing for the second goal as they created chances without applying the finishing touch. With ten minutes to go the game opened up and both sides were throwing jabs at each other and ultimately Bafana Ba Style landed the final blow as substitute Kermit Erasmus calmly placed the ball past Al Hilal’s keeper to make the score 2-0 and seal all three points.
Masandawana sit top of the group after the first game of the group stages with three points.
How we lined up: Onyango, Maboe, Nascimento, Lebusa, Lakay, Coetzee, Mvala, Mkhulise (Kapinga 65′), Zwane ( Erasmus 65′), Sirino ( Morena 86′), Shalulile
Subs: Goss, Modiba, De Reuck, Jali, Morena, Kapinga, Erasmus