Sundowns advance in CAF Champions League with Maniema Union win

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Lyle Lakay (Gallo)
Lyle Lakay (Gallo)

Mamelodi Sundowns proved too strong for visitors Maniema Union, winning the second leg of their CAF Champions League fixture 2-0 at Loftus Versveld on Sunday.

The South African club enjoyed most of the ball early on with a couple of sizzling runs from Themba Zwane, who continued his red hot form from the first leg, where he scored a brace in Kinshasa.

In the 20th minute, Maniema Union captain Mbiyeye Bisamuna was shown a yellow card for a handball, giving the Brazilians a good attacking setpiece. Midfielder Lyle Lakay obliged, curling the ball around the wall with his left foot from all of 25m out for a stunning opening goal.

Later, with another great effort from a setpiece, Lakay would force a good save from Maniema Union stopper Brudel Liyongo. And the gloveman was called on again just seconds later when Sibusiso Vilakazi turned quickly to let fly a powerful shot from close range.

It should have been 2-0 on the stroke of half-time when a long ball from Zwane found a streaking Thabiso Kutumela, who beat the keeper but failed to guide the ball home into the open net from an acute angle.

Maniema Union forward Kitwa Kalowa provided the first bit of action in the second stanza, executing a perfect bicycle kick goalward in the Sundowns box, but goalkeeper Denis Onyango was equal to the task, diving full length to his top right.

Sundowns then extended their lead in the 53rd minute after a mistake from the visitors' goalkeeper. With Lakay once again providing a dangerous ball from the setpiece, Liyongo appeared to have it covered on his back post but dropped the ball in the six-yard box and Peter Shalulile was on hand to smuggle the ball over the line.

But Maniema Union were not going to take the result lying down, as they began to create chances after getting in behind the Sundowns defenders. Tenda Mutuila almost opened the scoring for Maniema with an audacious effort from 26m out that just screamed past the right-hand post.

Sundowns' defence held up to the late charge, securing them a place in the competition's group stages thanks to a healthy 4-2 aggregate.

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Wed 15 Sep 21 18:00 PM (SAST)
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