How Brian Mandela's Mamelodi Sundowns secured spot in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals

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STARS ABROAD How Brian Mandela's Mamelodi Sundowns secured spot in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals

Festus Chuma 13:02 - 25.02.2024

Mamelodi Sundowns securd CAF Champions League quarter-final spot with a 2-0 win over FC Nouadhibou.

Kenyan international Brian 'Niang' Mandela despite not being listed for the match celebrated as his team Mamelodi Sundowns clinched a coveted spot in the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League. 

The South African giants confirmed their place with a compelling 2-0 victory over FC Nouadhibou. 

Mandela, sidelined since a November fixture against Supersport United due to injury watched from afar as his teammates showcased their prowess on the field.

The match's decisive moment arrived in the 20th minute when Marcelo Allende's flawless cross found Grant Kekana, who directed the ball past the goalkeeper with a precise header. 

This early lead set the tone for what was to become a dominant display by Sundowns. 

Despite facing robust challenges from the Mauritanian champions, including a contentious tackle by captain Moulaye Khalil that saw him receive a yellow card, Sundowns preserved their focus and control over the game.

Opportunities to extend their lead were plentiful, with Teboho Mokoena missing a prime chance in the 33rd minute, followed by a thwarted attempt saved by goalkeeper Mamoudou M'Bodj. 

Sundowns' persistence paid off as Thembinkosi Lorch, marking his debut goal for the team, skillfully bypassed the goalkeeper to seal the victory in the match's final moments.

The victory was not without its controversies, including a disallowed goal for Sundowns. 

Nevertheless, the team's superior quality and determination were undeniable as they navigated through these challenges to secure their spot in the next competition phase. 

Sundowns' journey in the group stage has been remarkable, boasting four wins out of five matches in Group A, ensuring their quarter-final place with a game to spare.

On the other side, FC Nouadhibou's defeat spelled the end of their inaugural Champions League campaign, exiting at the group stage. 

The day also witnessed TP Mazembe, former champions, booking their quarter-final spot through a 3-0 triumph over Pyramids of Egypt. 

This victory, fueled by goals from Joel Beya, Glody Likonza, and Patient Mwamba, propelled Mazembe to second place in Group A, amassing 10 points and a secure passage to the next round.

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