Downs' Poor Away CAF Record Continues With Lobi Defeat
CAF Champions League
Result: Lobi Stars 2-1 Mamelodi Sundowns
Date: 11 January 2019
Venue: Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns struggles' on the road in the CAF Champions League continued after they began the group stage campaign with defeat in Nigeria.
Pitso Mosimane's charges have now only won one of their last eight away matches in the Champions League.
After nine minutes, Ricardo Nascimento came very close to grabbing the lead for the Brazilians with a powerful header at close range, but goalkeeper Olufemi Kayode made an acrobatic save to keep the ball out just beneath the crossbar.
Anthony Laffor had another chance for Pitso Mosimane’s charges in the 20th minute after breaking away on the right side of the box, but his low shot across the face of goal missed slightly wide.
Laffor finally broke the deadlock for Masandawana seven minutes before the break with a simple finish at the far post after a square pass from Gaston Sirino following a quick counter-attack, 0-1.
However, Lobi Stars equalised a minute before the break from the penalty spot through Yaya Kone after Nascimento brought down the striker in the area.
Seven minutes into the second half, the Ortom Boys went ahead thanks to Mathias Martins who scored from close range following persistent pressure, where a goal was disallowed for Stars moments earlier.
Mosimane responded with his first change in the 65th minute, bringing on speedy forward Phakamani Mahlambi in place of Rivaldo Coetzee.
The Tshwane giants were struggling to combine in the second half, and their balls over the defence were no longer working as the hosts’ defensive line remained resolute.
The Nigerian side defended in numbers towards the end of the game, frustrating the South African outfit who could not find pockets of spaces in the last third.
In the end, Lobi held on for the victory as Sundowns get their group stage campaign off to a negative start.
Here's how they lined up:
Sundowns: Mweene, Coetzee (Mahlambi 65'), Lebusa, Nascimento, Kekana, Mabunda, Morena, Lakay, Sirino, Laffor, Maboe.
Subs: Pieterse, Langerman, Madisha, Ngcongca, Manyisa, Mahlambi, Arendse.