Ruthless Sundowns crush 10-man Algerian side CR Belouizdad 5-1
Reigning SA footballer of the year Themba Zwane scored twice as Mamelodi Sundowns crushed 10-man Algerian side CR Belouizdad 5-1 on Sunday to take control of their Caf Champions League group.
The Group B match took place at a neutral venue in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam after the fixture had to be postponed last week due to the Algerian authorities denying Sundowns entry into the north African nation‚ citing medical restrictions related to Covid-19 as reason.
Sundowns were quick out of their blocks and had a knee-on-neck hold on the match from the first whistle and were rewarded for their relentlessness early when Belouizdad centre-back Chouaib Keddad handled the ball inside the box.
Malian referee Boubou Traore did not hesitate to point to the penalty spot and flashed a red card‚ with Zwane converting the spot kick to put Sundowns ahead after five minutes of play at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.
The Brazilians were free-flowing and toyed with their opponents‚ but a lapse of concentration by captain Ricardo Nascimento allowed Belouizdad attacker Amir Sayoud to sneak in behind him before cleverly chipping the ball over the advancing Denis Onyango in the Sundowns goal to make it 1-1 at the halftime break.
Sundowns retained their intensity in the second half and before the Algerians knew what hit them‚ deadly striker Peter Shalulile headed into the back of the net from a Lyle Lakay corner three minutes after the restart.
Zwane completed his brace in the 55th minute and Lebohang Maboe got in on the act to make it 4-1 with 15 minutes remaining‚ putting the contest beyond the north Africans' reach.
Kermit Erasmus ensured a humiliating afternoon for Belouizdad on the stroke of full-time when he scored his second goal in two Champions League matches‚ and the fifth of the match.
Sundowns put on a master class showing throughout the match and though Belouizdad had their chances‚ the reigning SA champions hardly put a foot wrong as they suffocated the life out of their opponents.
The crushing victory puts Sundowns in a commanding position as they top Group B on six points from two matches after their 2-0 triumph over Sudanese side Al Hilal in the opening round early in February.
Sudan’s Al Hilal and DR Congo giants TP Mazembe played to a goalless draw in their match in Omdurman on Wednesday.
The result from Omdurman saw Mazembe collect their second point‚ having also played to the same result against Belouizdad in their opening game.
Hilal picked their first point of the competition having lost 2-0 to the 2016 champions Sundowns in their first match.