Sundowns win away, Chiefs handed footballing lesson by Wydad Casablanca
JOHANNESBURG – Mamelodi Sundowns were on rampant mode in their Caf Champions League group stage catch-up game after mopping the floor with CR Belouizdad in Tanzania, while Kaizer Chiefs were humiliated by Wydad Casablanca in Burkina Faso on Sunday afternoon.
Sundowns trounced Algeria's Belouizdad 5-1 to remain at the top of Group B with six points after two matches. Chiefs, on the other hand, are rooted third in Group C with just one point after being embarrassed 4-0 by Morocco’s Wydad.
Both matches were held at neutral venues after the North Africans denied the South Africans entry to their countries, citing strict medical restrictions due to Covid-19. But the away disadvantage clearly didn’t matter for Sundowns in Dar es Salaam.
Out at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, the Brazilians found the breakthrough as early as the first five minutes. Themba Zwane found Sundowns opener from the spot after Chouaib Keddad had deliberately cleared his goal bound pin-point shot with his arm off the line.
Keddad received a straight red card for his infringement. From thereon, the South Africans continued to pile on the pressure for the second goal as they dominated possession. But it was Belouizdad that found an unlikely equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
Against the run of play, Amir Sayoud raced his way to Sundowns’ box before lobbying his effort over an onrushing Denis Onyango. But Sundowns returned from the break rejuvenated, ensuring that they buried the Algerians who continued to struggle in Group B.
An unmarked Peter Shalulile found his team’s lead after heading home from a Lyle Lakay corner-kick. Soon thereafter, Zwane grabbed his brace after beating the offside to trap home a nicely weighted high-flying through ball from Gaston Sirino.
It was starting to become embarrassing from the home side as substitute Kermit Erasmus made an immediate impact. With his back facing goal, Erasmus set-up Lebohang Maboe whose hard and low shot beat Gaya Merbah in his near post.
Erasmus, though, put the final nail in the coffin, tapping home from close-range after a delightful cut-back from Zwane. While Brazilians sent a bold statement to the rest of teams about their intentions, Chiefs’ novice status in this stage of the competition was terribly exposed.
At Stade du 4 Août in Ouagadougou, Chiefs went into the interval already 2-0 down, conceding goals which were a result of sloppy defending. Mohamed Ounajem side footed home on the near post after being picked out by Muaid Ellafi with a curling cross.
Chiefs, though, didn't seem discouraged as they attacked with purpose. But Njabulo Blom saw his effort from distance take a deflection before goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti collected with ease. Wydad, though, missed an opportunity to double their effort from a set-piece.
But an unmarked Ayoub El Kaabi doubled the advantage for the Red Devils on the stroke of half-time, beating goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in his near post after being picked out with sumptuous diagonal delivery from the flank by Ounajem.
The Glamour Boys returned to the second half looking the most reinvigorated side. But their early possession counted for nothing as their final balls were not clinical or were denied their breakthrough by some firm goalkeeping from Tagnaouti.
The Morrocans, though, proved why they are one of the giants of African football, Simon Msuva slotting his team's third after a mix-up at the back. But Wydad was not done. Yahya Jabrane scored his team's fourth from the spot, while Chiefs' captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele was sent off for the foul.