sundowns earn quarterfinal birth with first half blitz
09 Mar 2019
Themba Zwane (18) celebrates goal with teammate Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2019 TOTAL CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Lobi Stars at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville on the 09 March 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Three goals in the opening half saw South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns saw beat Nigeria’s Lobi Stars 3-0 in a CAF Champions League, Group A match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night.
The result means the Brazilians have earned a quarterfinal spot in the continental competition with man left to play in Group A as they are at the top of the standings on ten points, three points ahead of Wydad Casablanca in second place.
Sundowns got off to the perfect start on the night with Thapelo Morena giving them the lead only two minutes into the game after he latched onto a pin-point pass from Gaston Sirino and finished with aplomb from close range, 1-0.
The home side continued to pile on the pressure, but only managed to double their lead in the 38th minute when Themba Zwane produced a clinical finish from just inside the box, 2-0.
A minute later Sundowns found their third goal courtesy of Lebohang Maboe who dribbled past a few defenders before firing home from 18-yards out to make it 3-0 at the break.
In the second half the Brazilians took their foot off the pedal and seemed content to protect their three-goal lead.
Stars tried to find their way back into the game and threw players forward in attack, but the Sundowns defence stood firm to hold on for a comfortable victory.
Sundowns will play their last Group A game next week Saturday away to Wydad Casablanca while Stars will be at home to ASEC.
Sundowns (3) 3 (Morena 2, Zwane 38’, Maboe 39’)
Lobi Stars (0) 0
Sundowns: Onyango, Nascimento, Arendse, Morena, Langerman, Kekana, Mabunda, Laffor (Lakay 72'), Zwane, Sirino (Tade 82'), Maboe.
Stars: Kayode, Lazarus, Oahimijie, Bashiru, Duru, Solomon, Ojo, Mbah (Ogunye 65'), Sikiru, Timileyin, Kone.