CAF Champions League: Mamelodi Sundowns Downed
CAF Champions League defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns was brought back down to earth by a solid Esperance du Tunis (ESS).
The Tunisians taught The Brazilians some humbling lessons, beating them 2-1 in Pretoria with on-form 14-goal striker Taha Khenissi, the architect who single-handedly delivered the points to ESS.
A CAF CL winner in 2011 with ESS, the 25-year-old opened the score, turning his teammate and France-born Anice Badri’s assist in the 6th minute.
Sibusiso Vilakazi was the go-to-guy for Mamelodi’s equalizing goal. The 27-year-old, acquired from new Premier Soccer League kings Bidvest Wits, delivered in an effort in the 21st minute and has since scored in each of The Brazilian’s’ last two Champions League matches.
Just before the duel looked to be heading for a tie, Khenissi once again measured up to the demands to poke home an effort in the dying minutes to gift visitors ESS all points. The victory sends the Tunisians top of group C with seven (7) points, three ahead of second-placed Mamelodi.
Earlier on Friday, it was a bitter pill to swallow for Zimbabwe’s CAPS United who lost 4-2 to Libya’s Al Ahli Tripoli before the very noses of their fans. Sameh Derbali’s brace was the first from the spot-kick followed by Salem Abu and Muaida Ellafi each scoring to send CAPS packing.
Defender Ronald Pfumbidzi, reportedly on the radar of three South African clubs, and Hardlife Zvirekwi both pulled a goal back for bottom-placed CAPS but it couldn’t force a share of the spoils.
Algeria’s USM Alger and Ahli Tripoli share Group B’s second place on four points each, topped by Egypt’s Zamalek.
The Knights were on the brink of being stunned after Alger’s 30th-minute goal but Zambia’s AFCON winning star Emmanuel Mayuka, leaped to Zamalek’s rescue with a goal in the 90th minute at the Borg El Arabi Stadium.
In other games, Zambia’s Zanaco beat Cameroon’s Coton Sports 2-1 while Mozambique’s Ferroviaro Beira added Al Merreikh’s run without a win to three games.
Tunisia’s Etoile Du Sahel was playing Al Hilal Obudman in a group A clash at press time.
Featured photo: Gallo Images