Sundowns progress to CAF Champions League group stages
Mamelodi Sundowns booked a place in the group stages of the Caf Champions League with a 3-1 first round, second leg win over Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana at Loftus on Tuesday afternoon.
The 2016 champions progressed to the next round 5-1 on aggregate as they defeated the Botswana champions 2-0 in the first leg in Lobatse.
Victory in this match that was delayed by 30 minutes due to reasons that have not been communicated by Confederation of African Football (Caf) was secured by goals from Kermit Erasmus, Mothobi Mvala and Thapelo Morena.
Sundowns were the first to settle in the match and they created most of the chances with Aubrey Modiba, Erasmus and Peter Shalulile a thorn for the Galaxy defence and their goalkeeper Katlego Mbise.
It was not all about Sundowns as the visitors also had their notable moments on the attack in the game with Ricardo Lourenco, Thabang Sesinyi and Junior Dion on the forefront.
On occasions they breached the Sundowns defence, Lourenco, Sesinyi and Dion proved a handful for the Sundowns defence that was marshaled by Ricardo Nascimento and Brian Onyango.
Lourenco, who is a former Orlando Pirates junior player, forced a stunning save from goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene with a thunderous shot after they managed to penetrate the Sundowns defence after 20 minutes.
Sundowns responded to that threat by taking the lead in the 39th minute when the close range effort of Erasmus rebounded off Galaxy defender Moagi Sechele to beat his own following a delivery by Shalulile.
Even though the last touch of the ball before it kissed the back of the net was from Sechele, match officials credited the goal to Erasmus for his first goal of the competition.
On the stroke of half time, Erasmus missed an opportunity to increase the lead as he was denied by the upright and Modiba’s close range shot rebounded off the outstretched legs of Galaxy ‘keeper Mbise.
Sundowns had an opportunity to increase their lead after 50 minutes but the usually reliable Nascimento was denied by Mbise from the penalty spot after Shalulile was hacked in the box by Gaofane Molapi.