Mamelodi Sundowns have taken the early lead in Group C of the 2019/20 CAF Champions League following a 3-0 win over Angola’s Petro de Luanda on Saturday night.
With the earlier group match between USM Alger and Wydad Casablanca ending 1-1, the Brazilians top the standings with a full haul of three points.
Sundowns got off to the perfect start, claiming the lead in just the sixth minute when Mauricio Affonso headed home from Gaston Sirino’s cross on the right flank. The early goal gave the hosts confidence to get their passing game going from the opening minutes.
Petro tested out ‘Downs goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene with a long-range shot from Yano, while the hosts nearly doubled their lead through Sirino, both in the 22nd minute when he drilled an effort just wide of the target, as well as the 24th when he forced a fine save from Elber.
It seemed only a matter of when and not if the Brazilians would add to their advantage and the second goal arrived on the half-hour mark, with Motjeka Madisha getting on the end of Tebogo Langerman’s cross to head another effort beyond the visiting ‘keeper.
Sundowns dominated the remainder of the first half, but were unable to capitalise on the further chances they created, leaving the score at 2-0 at the interval.
The South African side picked up in the second stanza where they left off in the first, with Sphelele Mkhulise particularly influential in creating attacking opportunities, while the likes of Affonso and Sirino were willing runners off the ball.
Sirino racked up his second assist of the night in the 76th minute, teeing up Mkhulise for a well-deserved goal which put the cherry on top of a fine win for coach Pitso Mosimane and his charges. The teams will return to Champions League action next Saturday, with Petro at home to USM Alger and Sundowns away to old foes Wydad Casablanca.
Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 3 (Affonso 6’, Madisha 30’, Mkhulise 76’)
Petro de Luanda 0
Sundowns: Mweene, Morena (Ngcongca 82’), Madisha, Arendse, Langerman, Jali, Coetzee, Maboe (Lakay 71’), Mkhulise, Sirino, Affonso (Makgalwa 86’)
Petro: Elber, Musah, Diogenes, Dany, Job (Caranga 71’), To Carneiro, Wilson, Isaac, Tony, Alem, Yano (Megue 72’)