Sundowns Suffer First Defeat In Champions League
Mamelodi Sundowns failed to register a win in their final CAF Champions League, Group B match when they lost 3-1 to Nigeria's Enyimba on Tuesday evening at the Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
A brace courtesy of Mfon Udoh and a well struck free kick by Uche John ensured Paul Aipogun's side restored their pride in the competition.
Although the South Africans went to Nigeria as favourites, they failed to win but managed to find the back of the net through Percy Tau in the first half.
Despite the loss, the Brazilians still top the group with nine points from three wins and will now play in the knockout stages as group winners.
Although the game started on a low note on the muddy surface due to rain, it was the hosts who threatened as early as the first five minutes.
Goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands made a good save to deny the visitors from a dangerous through ball which he read wisely and came out to collect.
However, the hosts managed to break the deadlock in the 24th minute when Uche John unleashed a powerful set piece to beat Sandilands at his top corner, 1-0.
Four minutes later, Udoh nearly made it two when his curling shot almost beat Sandilands, but it sailed wide off the left top corner.
As they were kept under pressure, Pitso Mosimane's side moved the ball nicely and managed to pull one goal back through Tau who scored from close range in the 33rd minute following defensive errors by Enyimba, 1-1.
In the dying minutes of the first stanza, Sandilands slipped as he tried to clear the ball allowing Udoh an easy tap in after dispossessing him in the box to score.
It was 2-1 at half time.
Shortly after the break Anthony Laffor tried a spectacular overhead kick but it went wide/
With just five minutes into the second half, Udoh netted a third goal from the penalty spot for the hosts as he was fouled by Rheece Evans in the box, 3-1.
In the 60th minute, an unmarked Themba Zwane received a great pass from Siyanda Zwane but the winger missed from close range to easily tap the ball in.
The rain continued to fall and the visitors failed to play their normal passing game, allowing the hosts to walk away with the full three points.
Following the win, Aipogun's side remain rooted at the bottom of the group with three points and will miss the chance to play in the semi-finals.