Mamelodi Sundowns will advance from the group stages at the top of Group C in the CAF Champions League after beating Wydad Casablanca 1-0 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Prior to the match, Pitso Mosimane asked their fans to be their 12th man as they sought victory to secure top spot in their group and they responded well as the atmosphere in the stadium was electric. History was also on their side as they had never lost to Wydad at home.
Backed by the strong home support, the Brazilians made a strong start to the match with Themba Zwane forcing a smart save out of Ahmed Tagnaouti with a sharp header in the 12th minute.
Gaston Sirino then had a go but was also rebuffed by the imposing shot-stopper.
Overall, Sundowns were defensively very solid and allowed Wydad very little room to maneuver. This meant that Denis Onyango’s goal was never really in any danger throughout the game. Their best chance of the first half flew harmlessly over the bar around the half-hour mark.
Just as the opening period was drawing to a close, the hosts were gifted a chance to take the lead when Lebohang Maboe was shoved in the box. The resulting penalty was converted by Ricardo Nascimento.
The second half was a much more measured affair, with fewer chances being produced by both sides. While it may not have been the flashiest of football to watch, Downs fans can be proud of how their team protected its lead.
Saying that they should have doubled their advantage in the 72nd minute when Zwane was denied from point-blank range by the superb Tagnaouti and, in truth, he was the only thing keeping the score from getting out of hand.
The results see Sundowns advance at the top of Group C after an unbeaten start to the tournament and looking good to advance deep into the competition.