Themba Zwane bagged a brace for Mamelodi Sundowns, who drew 2-2 with AS Maniema Union in their CAF Champions League second preliminary round first-leg clash on Sunday.
CAF Champions League
Halftime: AS Maniema Union 2-2 Mamelodi Sundowns
Date: 17 October 2021
Venue: Stade des Martyrs
Mosa Lebusa returned from injury to make the starting line-up while Khuliso Mudau, Rivaldo Coetzee and Brian Onyango were also handed re-calls.
However, the Tshwane giants had five players ruled out of the match, with Lebogang Maboe, Grant Kekana, Divine Lunga, Rushine De Reuck and Mothobi Mvala not available for selection.
The Brazilians were looking to have a good start to reach the group stages after topping their group last term while Maniema qualified for the first time.
Themba Zwane gave the Brazilians an early lead in the ninth minute with his third goal of the season across all competitions.
However, the reigning DStv Premiership winners were unable to hold onto the lead going into the half-time break, as Maniema found the equaliser just before the interval.
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The visitors changed their approach in the second stanza as midway through, they made a double change by withdrawing strikers Thabiso Kutumela and Pavol Safranko for Sibusiso Vilakazi and Sphelele Mkhulise.
The tactical switch seemingly paid off for Sundowns, as Zwane restored their lead in the last five minutes to complete his brace.
However, the Brazilians succumbed to another late goal, as Maniema snatched the equaliser in the last minute although Sundowns do have two away goals to take into the second leg next week.
Here's how they started:
Sundowns: D.Onyango, Mudau, Lakay, B.Onyango, Lebusa, Jali, Coetzee, Zwane, Kutumela, Safranko, Shalulile.
Subs: Pieterse, Maluleka, Modiba, Morena, Mkhulise, Sirino, Domingo, Erasmus, Vilakazi.