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Mamelodi Sundowns

Confirmed: Unbeaten Downs Qualify For CAF Quarter-Finals

CAF Champions League

Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 USM Alger

Date: 11 January 2020

Venue: Loftus Versfeld

Mamelodi Sundowns have qualified for the CAF Champions League knockout stage after defeating Algerian giants USM Alger on Saturday afternoon.

Click through the gallery to see images from Sundowns' win over Alger.

Masandawana head coach Pitso Mosimane made three changes from their goalless draw with Bidvest Wits, as Gaston Sirino and Mosa Lebusa returned from injuries alongside Anele Ngcongca.

Sundowns settled the better of the two sides but had to wait until the 21st minute for their best chance after Hlompho Kekana threaded a through ball over the defence for Sibusiso Vilakazi, who was denied by by Alger shot-stopper Mohamed Zemmamouche.

The hosts came close again on the half-hour mark after Themba Zwane went through inside the box from Vilakazi's through ball but his fierce shot was saved by Zemmamouche.

The Brazilians finally broke the deadlock with nine minutes remaining of the first stanza courtesy of Thapelo Morena, who fired a strike into the roof of the net from close range after Zemmamouche clumsily parried Tebogo Langerman's cross on his path.

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The Algerian side were pushing forward in numbers in the closing minutes of the first stanza and they levelled matters a minute before the break after Aymen Mahious powered home a header past Denis Onyango from Taher Benkhelifa's cross.

However, Vilakazi restored the lead for Sundowns moments later with a low shot that found the bottom corner after he was afforded space in the centre of the box from a quick counter-attack.

Sundowns dropped the tempo of the game in the early exchanges of the second stanza, knocking the ball around and trying to draw USM out of their half, but the visitors were more defensive in the second half.

With the Brazilians contining to play deep in their own half, Mosimane eventually made his first change with 12 minutes remaining, as Lebohang Maboe came on for Sirino to freshen up the attack.

Billel Dziri's troops had a wonderful chance to equalise after they were awarded a penalty with three minutes remaining, but Mohamed Meftah could not capitalise as he cracked the top corner of the crossbar from 12-yards.

In the end, the hosts held on to clinch a 2-1 victory to seal a spot in the last eight with two games to spair.

Here's how they started:

Sundowns: Onyango, Ngcongca, Langerman, Madisha, Lebusa, Jali, Kekana, Zwane, Morena, Sirino, Vilakazi.

Subs: Pieterse, Arendse, Mabunda, Lakay, Nascimento, Makgalwa, Maboe.

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