MATCH CENTRE

WED 24 MAY 2017, 16:30,

1
VS
3

Sundowns claim stunning win in Kinshasa

by Graeme Jackson

Wed May 24, 18:28

Mamelodi Sundowns powered to a stunning 3-1 win over AS Vita in a CAF Champions League Group C clash in Kinshasa on Wednesday afternoon.

Having stumbled in their opening group stage match by being held 0-0 at home by Saint George, the defending African champions put in a superb performance at Stade des Martyrs to join Tunisia’s Esperance de Tunis at the top of the standings on four points.

The DR Congo side, in contrast, are bottom of the log after suffering back-to-back defeats.

Sundowns had the first clear chance of the match in the ninth minute when Yannick Zakri had a shooting chance from the right of the penalty area, but his effort was well saved by goalkeeper Lukong Bongaman.

The Brazilians claimed the lead in the 24th minute when Anthony Laffor scored with a diving header, converting a fine cross from the left flank by Tebogo Langerman.

Yet the visitors’ lead lasted just eight minutes, with AS Vita hitting back through midfielder Oumar Sidibe, whose shot from just outside the penalty area found the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-1.

Just a couple of minutes before the break Sundowns almost reclaimed the lead, with Zakri holding off two defenders before firing off an effort which rebounded off the underside of the crossbar.

Early in the second half the South Africans created another clear scoring chance, this time putting Percy Tau one-on-one with Bongaman, but the goalkeeper came out on tops in the battle.

However, the Vita goalkeeper was beaten in the 56th minute when Zakri got the goal his endeavour deserved - the Ivorian fired home a low shot from the edge of the box to put ‘Downs back in front at 2-1.

It should have been 3-1 midway through the second half when Tau teed up Themba Zwane for a simple chance, but the midfielder somehow put his shot over the crossbar from close range.

However, in the 77th minute, Sibusiso Vilakazi found Sundowns’ third goal when his persistence paid off and he was able to send a low shot beyond the reach of Bongaman to make it 3-1.

The teams will return to Champions League action on the first weekend of June. Sundowns will host Esperance in Tshwane, while Vita will head to Addis Ababa to face Saint George.

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