Mamelodi Sundowns tasted victory in their first ever African Football League encounter as they scored two goals away from home against Petro De Luanda of Angola, taking the advantage back to Tshwane ahead of the second leg.
Goals from Marcelo Allende and substitute Thapelo Maseko saw Downs leave Angola in the ascendency in the tie and with a lead to protect heading into Tuesday’s return leg at Loftus.
The first twenty minutes saw the away side withstand pressure from the home side, who looked to push forward with every opportunity and take the lead. Grant Kekana picked up an early yellow card with the game being played at a frantic pace.
Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was called into action as he made a superb save from the effort from close range.
Chances would be few and far between for Masandawana as the first half progressed. Mokoena rose highest to meet Marcelo Allende’s in-swinging free kick, however he could not steer his glancing effort on target. A chance would follow shortly after for attacker Junior Mendieta, who found space to drive forward and shoot , he saw his shot saved by Petro goalkeeper Hugo Marques.
The biggest flashpoint of the half came with 5 minutes remaining, when Mothobi Mvala was adjudged to have fouled the Petro attacker in the box and gave away a penalty. Petro forward Gilberto stepped up to the spot and saw his effort heroically denied by Williams in goal, who made a double-save to keep the scores level at the break.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with both teams gunning to take the lead and get a foothold on the match.
It took twenty minutes of the second half before Masandawana were finally able to break the deadlock. Marcelo Allende who made a charging run into the box, was picked out by fellow South American Junior Mendieta, before the Chilean dispatched to push Downs ahead.
The goal changed the pace of the game as Masandawana were able to take control of possession and start playing their passing game. With less than 15 minutes to go, Coach Rulani and his technical team rang the changes and brought Gaston Sirino and Thapelo Maseko into the fray, in place of Mendieta and captain Themba Zwane.
The substitutes made an instant impact as Sirino played Maseko in, before the young speedster rounded the keeper to slot home and grab The Brazilians’ second of the evening.
Downs made further changes after the goal as Rivaldo Coetzee and Mosa Lebusa came on to help see out the result. Masandawana withstood a late onslaught of pressure from the hosts to see out the victory and claim a first ever win in the new competition.
How we lined up: Williams, Mudau, Kekana, Mvala, Boutouil, Allende, Mokoena, Mkhulise, Zwane, Mendieta, Modiba
Subs: D Onyango, De Reuck, Lebusa, B. Onyango, Nku, Zungu, Sirino, Mashego, Mabena, Maseko, Maema, Coetzee
Source : Mamelodi Sundowns