Mamelodi Sundowns, Petro Luanda hold fort in CAF Champions League quarterfinals


Mamelodi Sundowns, Petro Luanda hold fort in CAF Champions League quarterfinals

Festus Chuma 11:32 - 31.03.2024

The Brazilians and Petro secure strategic draws away on Saturday gaining an edge as they head into the second leg of the quarterfinals.

Mamelodi Sundowns and Petro Luanda solidified their positions as top contenders in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals, achieving 0-0 first-leg away draws on Saturday against formidable opponents.

Sundowns, who have previously tasted championship glory, demonstrated a tactical masterclass against the knockout-stage newcomers, Young Africans of Tanzania. 

In a game played under the challenging conditions of heat and humidity in Dar es Salaam, the South African giants managed to effectively neutralize the threat posed by their opponents, maintaining a composed and controlled approach throughout the match.

On the other hand, Petro Luanda, with a historical best of reaching the semi-finals in 2022, found themselves under siege against TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite the relentless attacks by Mazembe, Petro Luanda showcased a remarkable defensive fortitude, surviving the onslaught and ensuring their goal remained unbreached. 

The intensity of this encounter was a stark contrast to the more measured pace of the Sundowns' match, highlighting the diverse tactics and styles present in the tournament.

The quarterfinals have been a testament to the need for clinical finishing, with only one goal scored across the first three matches, leaving teams to rue missed opportunities.

 Sundowns, despite fielding a star-studded lineup, struggled to find the back of the net, with their efforts rarely challenging Young Africans' goalkeeper, Djigui Diarra. 

The hosts, Young Africans, managed to create moments of concern for Sundowns through direct attacks but ultimately could not capitalize on their chances.

Petro Luanda's goalkeeper, Hugo Marques, emerged as a hero for his team, making crucial saves to keep Mazembe at bay, including a standout save from a close-range shot in the first half. 

Mazembe's aggressive strategy saw them bombard the Petro goal with 28 attempts, yet their lack of precision in front of goal kept the scoreline unchanged, much to the frustration of their supporters.

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