PRETORIA – Mamelodi Sundowns booked their place in the CAF Champions League group stage after beating Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya 4-0 in a first-round second leg match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
Following the goalless draw that played out between the two sides in Cairo, Egypt last weekend, it was Sundowns who gained the early advantage.
Liberian Anthony Laffor, operating on the left, set up Uruguayan forward Gaston Sirino to score the opener in the 34th minute.
The hosts could well have been 2-0 by this stage after Brazilian central defender Ricardo Nascimento watched on as his header hit the Benghazi crossbar in the 31st minute.
The Libyans battled to find a way to block out the 4-man Sundowns arsenal of Laffor, Jeremy Brockie, Sirino and Lebohang Maboe.
With two minutes to go to halftime, it was the New Zealander Brockie who doubled the Sundowns lead when he smashed the ball home after some superb build-up work by Sirino.
The 2-0 halftime lead soon grew with Laffor showing super ball control in collecting an over-the-top pass, before slotting it into the bottom corner of the Benghazi net in the 50th minute.
In the 81st minute, Venezuelan substitute Ali Meza, on for Brockie, made the scoreline 4-0 when he won the ball in the middle of the park and charged goalwards before firing home.
Sundowns' opening game of 2019 will be a tough away league encounter against Kaizer Chiefs on January 5.
African News Agency (ANA)