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Sundowns beat Zesco to reach CAF Champions League final


Photo: CAF

Mamelodi Sundowns have reached the 2016 CAF Champions League final after beating Zesco United 2-0 in the second leg of the semi-final on Saturday.

The South Africans secured a spot in the final with a 3-2 aggregate victory after they had lost to the Zambian side 2-1 in the first leg.

Liberia international Anthony Laffor gave his side an early lead as he scored the opener after only five minutes.

Few minutes later, Zesco were close to equalise as Jackson Mwanza who scored a brace during the first leg, sent a shot that hit the crossbar. Sundowns’ keeper Denis Onyango was also tested on several occasions but managed to keep the scoreline at 1-0.

The first half ended in the favour of the hosts. The scoreline stood at 2-2 on aggregate, which would have been enough for Sundowns to reach the final on the away goal rule.

The South Africans however confirmed their spot in the final with a second goal. Percy Tau headed Tebogo Langerman’s cross into the top left corner to make it 2-0 in the 64th minute.

Zesco failed to tie the scoreline during the remainder of the game and Sundowns managed to withhold the pressure that came their way to book a spot in the final.

Reaching the final marks a remarkable turnaround for Sundowns who were eliminated from the competition just few months earlier.

They were knocked out in the preliminary stage of the competition but were reinstated just few hours before the group stage draw, after their opponents AS Vita were eliminated for fielding an illegible player.

Sundowns reached final for the first time since 2001, when they finished as runners-up to Cairo giants Al Ahly, who clinched the title after defeating them 4-1 on aggregate.

The 2016 final will see the South African side face Egyptian giants Zamalek, who defeated Wydad Casabalanca with an aggregate score of 6-5 in the semi-final.

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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