Agony and tears for Downs fans as they bow out of CAF

Mamelodi Sundowns have crashed out of the CAF Champions League on the away goal rule after playing to a 2-2 draw against Wydad Athletic Club at Loftus Versfeld Stadium yesterday.

Both sides went into the massive encounter in search of a win, following their goalless draw in Casablanca in their first header.

The Yellow Army understood the assignment and responded to coach Rulani Mokwena’s call midweek to come out in numbers to rally behind the team and suffocate the travelling Moroccans.

As anticipated, the game started on a high intensity, with Sundowns dominating play in the first half, while the visitors felt comfortable sitting back and went into half time goalless.

The Brazilians picked up from where they left off and started the second half on the front foot, when captain fantastic Themba Zwane delivered the first blow in the 49th minute – to take a boisterous Loftus Stadium into a frenzy.

The goal meant that sitting back was no longer an option for Wydad, as Ayoub El Amloud silenced a fully packed Loftus crowd with his glancing header in the 72nd minute.

It was end-to-end stuff and drama in the dying minutes when Namibian goal machine Peter Shalulile thought he had scored the winner with his 79th minute strike, but moments later, defender Mothobi Mvala struck home when he scored an own goal.

Despite the disappointing defeat, Mokwena believes his side had a successful season, having defended their league title.

“We’ve had a super season, of course it could be better, but if you look at what we’ve done and how we’ve played, the character we’ve shown, the resilience that we’ve built, the type of performances that we have already demonstrated away from home, especially in the Champions League,

“In Cairo [against Al Ahly], in Algeria [CR Belouizdad], in Casablanca [against Wydad], then of course you will see what I see and what I see is an incredible group of players.

“A special group that is doing everything it can to represent this football club every single time with integrity, honour and to give everything of the best, and I am sure that is what we will continue to do.”

Wydad will now come up against Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the final, who eased past Tunisia’s Esperance after beating them 1-0 (4-0 on aggregate) at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday night.

The reigning champions will have a tough task at hand as they will go up against the attacking prowess of Mahmoud Kahraba, Hussein El Shahat and Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau – who has been instrumental in Ahly reaching their fourth successive Champions League final.

Tau has now been directly involved in nine goals in ten Champions League matches for the team of the century so far this season.

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