Sundowns advance despite draw

Thabo Nthethe © Backpagepix
Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a 1-1 draw by AS Vita in their final Group C match in the CAF Champions League on Sunday evening.

The clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium saw the Brazilians claim the lead in the first half through Thabo Nthethe, but Vita levelled the game in the second thanks to a fine goal from Yazid Atouba.

The result means Sundowns finish second on the log and advance into the quarterfinals to face Group D winners Wydad Casablanca.

Sundowns created chances from early on but AS Vita goalkeeper Lukong Bongaman proved a tough man to beat, denying the likes of Percy Tau and Yannick Zakri with some brave saves.

AS Vita threatened only sporadically at the other end, with their best chance seeing Etekiama Agiti heading on goal from a corner kick, only to be denied by Kennedy Mweene.

The Brazilians claimed the lead in the 35th minute, with the aftermath of a corner kick seeing Thapelo Morena play a superb pass to put Thabo Nthethe in on goal and the veteran defender sent a low shot into the bottom corner for 1-0. In the second half ‘Downs looked to add to their advantage through the likes of Tau, Zakri and Anthony Laffor, but Bongaman was once again on hand to keep his side in the contest.

And the goalkeeper’s efforts weren’t in vain, as Vita drew level on 73 minutes. Sundowns failed to clear from a long throw-in and the ball fell kindly for Yazid Atouba, who fired home a left-footed volley for 1-1.