Mamelodi Sundowns Prove Their Mettle With Gutsy Draw | Sundowns Prove Their Mettle With Gutsy Draw

Nine-man Mamelodi Sundowns Draw Against Wydad

In a fiercely contested first-leg semi-final clash, Mamelodi Sundowns showcased their resilience as they held defending champions Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) to a goalless draw at the Stade Mohamed V. Despite being reduced to nine men, Sundowns managed to keep their opponents at bay and set up an intriguing second leg at Loftus Versfeld.

Sundowns’ Dominance and VAR Drama

From the start, Sundowns displayed their attacking prowess and controlled the game with their slick passing and ball retention. The WAC supporters were left stunned as Sundowns dominated large portions of the first half. Peter Shalulile seemed to have found the breakthrough within the opening 15 minutes, but the goal was disallowed after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.

VAR Controversy and Red Cards

VAR continued to be a central figure in the match, impacting the outcome in crucial moments. Just before halftime, Sundowns suffered a blow when Neo Maema was shown a straight red card for a studs-up challenge deemed to be excessive.

Despite their numerical advantage, WAC failed to capitalize on their opportunities. Zouheir El-Moutaraji came closest to breaking the deadlock, but Sundowns’ goalkeeper Ronwen Williams made a remarkable save to preserve his clean sheet.

Nine-man Mamelodi Sundowns Draw Against Wydad |
Nine-man Mamelodi Sundowns Draw Against Wydad

In the second half, Sundowns faced further adversity when Marcelo Allende, their returning playmaker, was also sent off following a VAR review for a similar incident in stoppage time.

The team showed tremendous resolve in the face of adversity, maintaining their defensive shape and discipline to deny WAC any scoring opportunities.

Securing the Goalless Draw

With two players sent off, Sundowns adopted a cautious approach, prioritizing defensive stability and ball retention over taking risks. Their strategy proved successful as they managed to keep the scoreline intact, heading into the second leg with a goalless draw.

The team’s performance demonstrated their resilience and determination to secure a place in the final, potentially against Al Ahly, the likely opponents for the winner of the tie.

Looking Ahead

The stage is set for an enthralling second leg at Loftus Versfeld, where Sundowns will aim to use their home advantage and the support of their fans to secure a spot in the final.

Despite the challenges they faced in the first leg, Sundowns have shown that they are a formidable side capable of overcoming adversity. Football fans can look forward to an intense battle between two strong teams as they vie for a place in the prestigious CAF Champions League final.

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