Sirino Shines As Downs Register First Champions League Win
CAF Champions League
Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 AS Togo-Port
Date: 27 July 2018
Venue: Lucas Moripe Stadium
Gaston Sirino registered a goal and an assist as Mamelodi Sundowns defeated AS Togo-Port 2-1 to register their first win in Group C of the CAF Champions League.
Sirino grabbed the lead for the Brazilians in the tenth minute with a low toe-poked shot into the bottom corner after he latched onto a pass from Themba Zwane.
Six minutes later, Sibusiso Vilakazi exquisitely doubled the lead for Masandawana with a cheeky backheel that sneaked in at the near post after combining with Sirino, 2-0.
Pitso Mosimane’s charges were oozing with confidence after 20 minutes, finding spaces in the areas where they could hurt Togo-Port but were over elaborating in the final third.
Jeremy Brockie should have made it 3-0 for the hosts in the 25th minute with a glorious chance at close range but his shot was cleared off the line by a Togo-Port defender.
Fousseni Yacoubou almost pulled a goal back for the Togolese side ten minutes before the break with a fierce left-footed strike inside the area but Masandawana shot-stopper Denis Onyango pulled off a massive save.
Apart from that Yacoubou chance, Togo-Port did not show any initiative going forward and the Brazilians were completely dominant as they took a two-goal cushion into the break.
The hosts were struggling to find their passing rhythm ten minutes into the second stanza, with the Togolese side not giving them time and space on the ball.
Brockie almost got the third goal for Masandawana in the 64th minute after making a brilliant run on the far right side but his out-stretched strike hit the side-netting.
The Brazilians started finding their groove again 20 minutes before time and denied the Togolese side possession and chances on the break.
Tebogo Langerman was unlucky not to have found the third goal for Mosimane’s men 15 minutes before time after his goal-bound strike from the left side of the box was parried away by shot-stopper Klomegan.
A lapse in concentration with three minutes remaining saw Kokou Kloukpo go through clear inside the box to pull one goal back for Togo-Port with five minutes remainng.
However, Mosimane’s men managed to hold on in the final stages for their first win in the group phase.
Here's how they lined up:
Sundowns: 14. Onyango, 20. Ngcongca 6. Arendse, 16. Nascimento, 4. Langerman, 7. Manyisa, 5. Sirino, 8. Kekana, 11. Vilakazi (Meza 73'), 18. Zwane, 19. Brockie (Morena 85').
Subs: 30. Brimah, 13. Mabunda, 24. Zulu, 23. Madisha, 9. Malajila, 27. Morena, 10. Meza.
Togo-Port: 16. Klomegan, 26. Yakubu, 14. Komla Kove, 3. Issifou. 5. Bode, 13. F. Yacoubou, 8. Novon, 11. Sangare, 7. Djadja, 9. Hunlede, 12. Sewonou.