Sundowns edge out stubborn Togo Port

Sundowns edge out stubborn Togo Port
Sibusiso Vilakazi of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal with teammates Port during the 2018 CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AS Togo Port at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Pretoria on 27 July 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jul 27, 2018. 23:00

Mamelodi Sundowns defeated AS Togo Port 2-1 in the 2018 CAF Champions League Group C match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in South Africa on Friday.

As a result, South African giants Sundowns moved to third place on the group standings, while Togolese club Togo Port moved down to fourth spot on the table.

The Brazilians dominated the match from the start and they deservedly broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the encounter.

Themba Zwane set-up Gaston Sirino, who fired past Togo-Port goalkeeper Jean Robert Klomegan with a low effort to make it 1-0 to Sundowns.

Uruguayan winger Sirino was proving to be a thorn in the visitors' defence and turned provider as the hosts doubled their lead in the 15th minute.

The diminutive attacker found Sibusiso Vilakazi, who hit the back of the net to make it 2-0 to Sundowns much to the delight of the home crowd.

Sirino then beat one marker in the 26th minute, before setting up his team-mate Jeremy Brockie, but Klomegan made a great save to deny the hosts.

The visitors managed to gain control of the match after the half-hour mark and they nearly scored through Kodjo Sewonou.

The Togo Port striker's effort was magnificently saved by Sundowns shot-stopper Denis Onyango in the 36th minute.

However, the Sundowns defence which was marshalled by Wayne Arendse looked solid and organised.

The score was 2-0 Sundowns, who had dominated the first-half.

The visitors did most of the attacking after the restart and they threatened through Aboucabar Sangare 10 minutes into the second-half.

The attacker found some space on the edge of the Sundowns box and he unleashed a powerful shot which missed the target.

The Brazilians looked dangerous on the counter attack and they came very close to extending their lead in the 65th minute.

Brockie, who is a New Zealand international, hit the side-netting with Klomegan well-beaten in the Togo-Port goal-posts.

Sundowns took control of the match in the final 20 minutes of the game and in the 76th minute, Tebogo Langerman forced Klomegan into a great save with a left-footed shot.

Togo Port head coach Ayivi Ekouevi then made a double substitution - introducing Kokou Kloukpo and Kokou Koussaglo with six minutes left on the clock.

It was Kloukpo, who made an immediate impact as he beat Onyango from a one-on-one situation to make it 2-1 in the 87th minute with Sangare grabbing an assist.

However, Sundowns were able to contain Togo Port in the latter stages of the game and ultimately, they emerged 2-1 winners on the night.

Sundowns (2) 2 (Sirino 10', Vilakazi 15')
Togo Port (0) 1 (Kloukpo 87')

Sundowns: Onyango, Ngcongca Arendse, Nascimento, Langerman, Manyisa, Sirino, Kekana, Vilakazi (Menza 75'), Zwane, Brockie (Morena 86').

Togo Port: Klomegan, Hudu, Bourahana, Kove, Djadja, Bode, Sewonou, Sangare, Novon (Koussaglo 85'), Yacoubou, Hunlede (Kloukpo 85').



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