Mamelodi Sundowns were eliminated from the African Confederation Cup race after crashing 3-1 to Tout Puissant Mazembe on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Needing maximum points to retain a realistic chance of overtaking Group A leaders Club Sportif Sfaxien of Tunisia, Sundowns fell behind after seven minutes and trailed by three goals midway through the second half.
Leading Confederation Cup scorer Tresor Mputu Mabi scored his eighth goal of the competition to give Mazembe the lead at a packed Kenya Stadium in the southern city of Lubumbashi.
Patou "Papy" Kabangu added a second goal with 37 minutes gone and Alain Kaluyitukadioko converted a 58th-minute penalty to end the match as a contest at a venue where Sundowns drew 0-0 with Mazembe in the 2001 Champions League.
Lungisani Ndlela snatched a consolation goal five mintues from full-time for Sundowns, who lacked injured midfielders Brent Carelse, Surprise Moriri and Esrom Nyandoro. It was the third consecutive away loss for Sundowns in the pool phase after a 4-0 drubbing from Sfaxien and a controversial 1-0 loss to Astres Douala of Cameroon with the South Africans criticising the penalty winner.
Sfaxien overcame Astres 3-0 in the Mediterraean cith of Sfax Saturday via goals from Blaise "Lelo" Mbele, Blaise Kouassi and Hamza Younes to remain top of the standings with 10 points, one more than Mazembe.
The Tunisians complete their six-match mini-league programme at Sundowns over the weekend of October 6-7 while 1967 and 1968 African champions Mazembe confront Astres in Cameroon at the same time. - Sapa-AFP