When boys mingle with, and imitate men, it might prove to be a difficulty to distinguish the two, but only in football, can boys be separated from men. That was the case in Pretoria, where Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa hosted visiting Chicken Inn of Zimbabwe in a CAF Champions league match played at Lucas Moripe Stadium under flood lights yesterday.
With the hopes of continuing with a fine run after winning the first leg encounter a fortnight ago by a goal to nil, the Gamecocks where left cursing the football gods as their Champions league campaign hit a brick wall after Masandawana overturned the scoreline to progress to the next level on a 2-1 aggregate.
Sundowns opened their scoring account in the 34th minute after being awarded a freekick just outside the box.
Upstepped the Zimbabwean born Khama Billiat, took the dead ball finding Arendnse who made no mistake but headed home to level the matters on aggregate.
The visitors tried to crawl back but the ‘equaliser’ was too elusive to come by.
Downs nearly doubled the lead when the ever dangerous Billiat hit the upright and Keegan Dolly failed to tap in the rebound after 56 minutes of play as The Brazilians took full control of the proceedings, dictating the pace left, right, and centre.
Leaving his makers for dead, Billiat cruised past the Chicken Inn defense before being tripped down by Bernard in the 91st minute and Malagasy referee, Andofetra Avombitana Rakotojaona, pointed to the spot.
Upstepped Mashego, took the killer spot kick in the 94th minute, placing it beyond the reach of Elvis Chipezeze, in goals for Chicken Inn
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas felt the stoppage-time penalty awarded to Mamelodi Sundowns in their CAF Champions League defeat was questionable.
The Gamecocks would have taken Sundowns to a penalty shootout at Lucas Moripe Stadium had Passmore Bernard not clipped Khama Billiat in the area in the 91st minute.
As it turned out, Sundowns progressed 2-1 on aggregate.
“I’ll give the boys hundred percent for the big effort that they put in. For us to try and get a result we had to put in a massive performance, which they did,” he told SuperSport.
“But I thought the penalty was a bit dodgy … but that’s the nature of the game.
“I wish Sundowns all the best in their quest for the African Champions League, they played brilliantly. Sundowns, as we all know, are a brilliant side.”
Antipas felt his side lost concentration in the final few minutes, and Sundowns took advantage.
“Especially the last ten, fifteen minutes we were running out of steam, lost a bit of concentration, Khama [Billiat] the dangerman … we gave Khama too much room in the last ten minutes and we were punished.
“But all in all, great performance from my boys.”