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Mamelodi Sundowns

VAR Takes Centre Stage As Downs Suffer CCL Exit!

Mamelodi Sundowns have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the CAF Champions League for a third straight season after only managing a 1-1 draw in the second leg.

CAF Champions League

Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Petro de Luanda (2-3 on aggregate)

Date: 23 April 2022

Venue: FNB Stadium

Neo Maema was gifted a start for Sundowns after making an impressive cameo in the first leg, although the hosts were without

The Brazilians should have been ahead on seven minutes when an error at the back allowed Themba Zwane to set up Peter Shalulile, who took one touch before blazing over with only the Petro goalkeeper to beat.

Chances continued to fall for the home side as Maema and Zwane combined to set up Thapelo Morena on the right side of the box, although the full-back ballooned his effort over the crossbar.

Petro, meanwhile, were quite happy to sit back and soak up the pressure in the first half having come into the clash with a 2-1 lead from the first leg.

Despite Sundowns throwing everything forward in the latter stages of the first half, the Angolans defended with their bodies on the line to keep their overall lead intact.

However, Sundowns were awarded a penalty on the stroke of halftime following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) reveiew for a foul on Zwane, who stepped up but struck his spot-kick against the upright.

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All that domination paid off three minutes into the second half when Wellington was unable to hold on to Lyle Lakay's free-kick, which allowed Brian Onyango to fire home from six-yards out.

Petro thought they had found an equaliser in the 56th minute, but the goal was ruled out for Quinito's foul on Denis Onyango after the referee checked the VAR monitor.

Soon after though, VAR worked in the visitors' favour after being awarded a penalty of their own for Andile Jali's foul on Brazilian forward Gleison, which allowed Tiago Azulão to slot home the equaliser and put his side 3-2 ahead on aggregate.

The pressure was back on Sundowns who nodded to score another goal and they were nearly rewarded on 75 minutes when Lakay's free-kick was nearly headed in by Rushine de Reuck.

Sundowns pushed numbers forward in search of a goal that would seal the tie, but Petro gave nothing away and held on for the 1-1 draw which sees the side advance to the final four.

Here's how they lined up:

Sundowns: D.Onyango, De Reuck, B. Onyango, Lakay, Morena, Jali, Maema, Maboe, Ralani, Zwane, Shalulile.

Subs: Mweene, Modiba, Lebusa, Mokoena, Kekana, Mkhulise, Sirino, Kapinga, Safranko

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