Downs through to the quarters

Themba Zwane (R) fights for the ball with Esperance players © Backpagepix
Title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and Esperance and Etoile Sahel of Tunisia became the first qualifiers for the Caf Champions League quarterfinals on Saturday.

Gangling Liberian Anthony Laffor scored five minutes from time to earn Sundowns a 1-0 group C victory over Saint George of Ethiopia in a packed 30 000-capacity Addis Ababa stadium.

Saint George, the first Ethiopian side to reach the group stage of the premier African club competition, wasted a great chance to take the lead on the stroke of halftime.

Sundowns defender Anele Ngcongca handled the ball inside the box, but a timidly struck penalty from leading 2017 Champions League scorer Saladin Said was parried to safety by Denis Onyango.