• Sundowns held to draw by Esperance

    Mamelodi Sundowns forward Percy Tau

    Reigning Caf Champions League champions Mamelodi Sundowns were dealt a blow in their bid to retain their trophy as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Esperance on Wednesday night in Tunisia.

    The home side dominated possession proceedings in the opening exchanges of the encounter, and looked particularly threatening down the flanks, but were let down by the final ball in the area.

    Sundowns gradually eased into the game and should have taken the lead in the 34th minute when a defence-splitting pass by Themba Zwane found Percy Tau in the area, but the forward fired his effort straight into the hands of goalkeeper Ben Cherifia.

    Denis Onyango was called into action in the 39th minute when he produced a fine save to keep out Ben Youssef’s header.

    The two sides went into the half-time break, deadlocked at 0-0.

    Sundowns looked to catch Esperance on the counter-attack, but poor finishing proved to be their downfall, as they wasted a number of good opportunities to break the deadlock. Esperance upped their efforts towards the closing stages of the second half and were unfortunate not to take the lead in the 66th minute when Ben Youssef’s volley went inches wide of Onyango’s goal.

    Pitso Mosimane introduced Thapelo Morena for Anthony Laffor in the 75th minute in a bid to get a late winner, but it proved too little too late as they two sides played to a goalless stalemate.

    The result sees Sundowns occupy 2nd spot in the Group C standings, with five points collected from their four allotted matches, three points behind leaders Esperance.

    Photo: Backpagepix

    – This story originally appeared on SoccerClub.co.za

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