By Michael Madyira
Mamelodi Sundowns cruised into the CAF Champions League group stage following a 2-0 preliminary round second-leg victory over visiting Bumamuru at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
Centre-back Mothobi Mvala opened the scoring after 11 minutes before Teboho Mokoena added his name on the scoresheet four minutes into the second half as Masandwana sealed a 6-0 aggregate victory.
After winning the away leg 4-0, Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena had the luxury of benching forward Peter Shalulile and Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams.
Denis Onyango was handed a start as Rushine De Reuck returned from injury.
The Brazilians suffered an early setback after Lucas Ribeiro Costa was forced out of the match due to injury 10 minutes into the contest.
Soon after he was substituted, Mvala broke the deadlock for Masandawana after heading home a Themba Zwane cross.
Shortly after, Aubrey Modiba almost doubled Sundowns’ advantage with a well-taken freekick that went just wide.
Thapelo Morena, Bongani Zungu and Thapelo Maseko also came close in the first half as the hosts dominated play and kept the Bumamuru defence busy.
Soon after the restart, Mokoena unpacked his trademark long-range shot to give the visitors’ goalkeeper Haile Shalom Nduwimana no chance as he thrust Sundowns further ahead.
Bumamuru tried to hit back through Faustin Ndikuwana but Khuliso Mudau stood tall with a stern challenge to prevent him from finishing at close range.
Nduwimana was then called to acrobatically save Maseko’s shot midway through the second half.
The Brazilians continued to dominate the exchanges but could not increase their lead even after the introduction of attackers Neo Maema and Junior Mendieta.
Pictured above: Mamelodi Sundowns defender Khuliso Mudau under the challenge of a Bumamuru defender
Image source: Mamelodi Sundowns