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Sundowns Dream Run In Champions League Ends Against Esperance

  • April 26, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Sundowns Dream Run In Champions League Ends Against Esperance

Mamelodi Sundowns’ CAF Champions League journey came to an end on Friday night, falling short against ES Esperance in the semi final at Loftus Stadium. The Tunisians secured a 2-0 aggregate victory after a 1-0 win in Pretoria.

Raed Bouchniba’s second-half strike proved decisive, forcing Sundowns to chase a three-goal deficit. This came after their struggles against Young Africans in the previous round, where they required penalties to advance despite failing to score in regulation time.

Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena opted to leave out captain Themba Zwane who looked leg weary, and Teboho Mokoena remained sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The Brazilians started brightly with Peter Shalulile forcing a save from Amenallah Memmiche in the opening minutes. However, the momentum stalled, and a heavy downpour forced a temporary stoppage.

Upon resumption, Sundowns continued to struggle for goals. Shalulile, usually a reliable scorer, missed a golden header just before halftime.

The deadlock was broken in the 57th minute when Bouchniba found himself unmarked and slotted the ball past Ronwen Williams, effectively ending Sundowns’ hopes.

Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Al Ahly secured a win against TP Mazembe with a second-half goal from Mohamed Abdelmonem. They added two more goals later through Wessam Abou Ali and Akram Tawfik, sealing their place in the final against Esperance.

The final will be a two-legged affair played on 18 and 25 May.

Picture courtesy of CAF

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