Mamelodi Sundowns off to a flyer in CAF Champions League Group A opener

Mamelodi Sundowns off to a flyer in CAF Champions League Group A opener
Credit: Icon Sport

Mamelodi Sundowns hosted Mauritanian side FC Nouadhibou in their CAF Champions League Group A opener at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

It turned out well for the South African side as Lucas Ribeiro, Peter Shalulile and Gaston Sirino scored for Mamelodi Sundowns to beat Nouadhibou 3-0 and seal a comfortable win in front of their fans.

Let's delve into the match summary!

Mamelodi Sundowns at the double before the break

Sundowns' coach Rhulani Mokwena threw his weight at forwards Lucas Ribeiro and Peter Shalulile who spearheaded the attack, while the team welcomed back Thapelo Morena and Rushine De Reuck after their success over Wydad Casablanca in the African Football League final.

Before Sunday’s showdown with the Brazilians, Nouadhibou were unbeaten in their last seven games, and they showed just why.

The first 28 minutes of the game saw both sides keep each other at bay, but while the earlier proceedings yielded no goal, Sundowns dominated as the visitors held firm.

However, a concentration lapse from Nouadhibou in the 28th minute of play as Sundowns countered quickly, saw Ribeiro open the scoring from a brilliant Morena's lay-off.

Seven minutes later, Shalulile doubled Sundowns' advantage as he headed into the net from a Marcelo Allende's delivery from a corner kick to ensure the Brazilians went to the break 2-0 ahead.

Peter Shalulile celebrates goal
Credit: Icon Sport

Mamelodi Sundowns heap more misery on the visitors

With two goals conceded before the break, Nouadhibou's coach, Aritz Lopez Garai made three tactical substitutions in the first 14 minutes of the second half in bid to salvage the situation.

The trio of Soukrana Mheimid, Ousmane Faye and Ely Bowba came on for Nouh Mohamed, Abderrahim Makran and Issa M'bareck respectively.

But just as it played out in the first half, a similar situation was recorded in the second 45 minutes as Sundowns continued to control the game.

Rhulani made changes of his own as Shalulile, Khuliso Mudau and Ribeiro left the action for Sirino, Brian Onyango and Lebohang Maboe.

The visitors held firm to deny Sundowns until an unfortunate foul from goalkeeper Babacar Diop on Sundowns' Gaston Sirino in the 70th minute put the visitors into more misery as they were reduced to ten-men.

The wait for a third goal lasted just four minutes after the dismissal as  Sirino extended Masandawana's lead to 3-0 to put the result beyond reasonable doubts.

Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrate goal
Credit: Icon Sport

Sundowns controlled the rest of the minutes and saw out the affair at the Loftus Versfeld in comfortable fashion.

The win means that Rhulani's men go top of Group A with Pyramids down to 2nd. The Egyptian side defeated TP Mazembe last Friday to pick their first win of the group.

Mamelodi Sundowns vs FC Nouadhibou confirmed lineups

Sundowns: Williams; Mudau, De Reuck, Lebusa, Mashego; Maema, Mkhulise, Allende; Shalulile, Ribeiro, Morena.

Subs: Pieterse, Ngobeni, B. Onyango, Zwane, Mokoena, Mbule, Sirino, Maboe, Ngubane.

FC Nouadhibou: Diop; Lembrabott, Saleck, Mangane, Mohamed; Mouhsine, Said, Bessam; M'bareck, Amar, Makran.

Subs: Mbodj, Mheimid, Ahmed, Lejouade, Bowba, Teguedi, Faye, Oubeid, Gadiaga.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.