Mamelodi Sundowns all but secured their place in the CAF Champions League group stages after cruising to a 5-0 victory at Seychelles outfit Cote d’Or on Saturday.
It was certainly a case of mission accomplished for Pitso Mosimane’s men as they picked up five goals away from home in the first leg of the qualifying first round, with Tiyani Mabunda bagging a brace while Lyle Lakay, Wayne Arendse and Sphelele Mkhulise also getting in on the act.
Sundowns laid down a marker early in the contest as Mabunda popped up in the fifth minute to put the visitors in front with a superb header.
And Downs didn’t let up after claiming an early lead, with Sibusiso Vilakazi and Mkhulise both going close to adding to the lead in the opening half-hour.
However, Sundowns were unable to breach the Cote d’Or for a second time in the remaining minutes of the first half as the hosts somehow managed to keep themselves in the contest.
In fact, the visitors had Wayne Arendse to thank for ensuring Cote d’Or didn’t draw level nine minutes into the second half as the defender pulled off a vital goal-line clearance to spare Downs’ blushes.
That moment proved to be pivotal as Sundowns went on to double their advantage in the 68th minute, with Lakay getting on the end of an inviting cross to head home from inside the area.
And with the that goal on the board, the floodgates opened as a rampant Downs went on to net three more times in the closing stages of the contest.
Just two minutes later, Mkhulise made it three for Downs before Mabunda got his second of the afternoon with a driven shot that left the keeper with no chance.
And Sundowns rubbed further salt in the wounds of the hosts in the 84th minute as Arendse fired a shot into the bottom-right corner.