Saturday Apr 23, 2022. 20:06
Petro de Luanda have booked their place in the semifinals of the CAF Champions League after they held hosts Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.
The result sees the Angolan club win the quarterfinal 3-2 on aggregate, after a 2-1 home victory in Luanda last weekend, and put them into the final four of the premier continental competition for just the second time in their history.
Sundowns had some early forays in attack and should have claimed an eighth-minute lead when Themba Zwane stole the ball off Petro defender Quinito and teed up Peter Shalulile, but the striker struck over the target from close range.
The Brazilians had further chances through the likes of Thapelo Morena and Neo Maema, with the latter chance arriving just after the midway point of the first half and seeing the playmaker fire a volley just over the crossbar.
The pressure continued to build in favour of the hosts and in injury time at the end of the first half Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa, with the help of a VAR review, awarded Sundowns a penalty for a debatable foul on Zwane.
The attacking midfielder took the spot kick himself but struck the outside of the upright, leaving the score at 0-0 heading into the interval.
Sundowns had been frustrated throughout the first stanza, but needed less than four minutes of the second to claim the lead: Lyle Lakay whipped in an in-swinging free kick delivery from the right which was only parried by Petro goalkeeperWellington, allowing Brian Onyango to poke home the rebound and put the hosts 1-0 up.
Os Tricolores thought they had equalised on 55 minutes when Quinito turned home a loose ball from close range, though the goal was soon disallowed by a VAR review for what seemed a soft foul from Pinto on goalkeeper Denis Onyango.
However, Petro were soon awarded a penalty – again with the assistance of VAR – for a foul from Andile Jali on Gleison. Tiago Azulao scored from the spot on 64 minutes to make it 1-1 on the night and put the Angolan visitors back in charge of the tie.
Sundowns missed out on a great chance to go back in front on 75 minutes when Rushine De Reuck got on the end of another fine free kick delivery but put a glancing header just wide of the target.
Petro succeeded in wasting time and breaking up Sundowns’ attacking rhythm for what remained of the match, safely securing a draw on the road and a famous victory overall.
The Angolan giants will face either CR Belouizdad of Algeria or Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca in the semifinals, scheduled to be played on 6-7 and 13-14 May.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (B. Onyango 49’)
Petro de Luanda (0) 1 (Tiago Azulao 64’ pen) – Petro won the tie 3-2 on aggregate
Sundowns: D. Onyango, Morena, De Reuck, B. Onyango, Lakay, Jali, Maema (Sirino 72’), Zwane (Safranko 67’), Maboe (Mkhulise 90+3’), Ralani (Kapinga 67’), Shalulile
Petro: Wellington, Afonso, Pinto, Quinito, Carneiro, Gleison (Vidinho 85’), Soares, Megue, Tiago Azulao, Jaredi (Anderson 71’), Duarte (Maya 76’)