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Mamelodi Sundowns v Otôho d'Oyo Match Report, 2019/08/24

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Mamelodi Sundowns 4-0 Otoho d'Oyo [5-2 agg]: Ruthless Brazilians advance in Caf Champions League
20:50 SAST 2019/08/24
Gaston Sirino Mamelodi Sundowns - August 2019
Masandawana overturned a first leg deficit to advance to the next round of the Caf Champions League on Saturday night

Mamelodi Sundowns produced a ruthless, Gaston Sirino inspired display against Otoho d’Oyo to advance to the next round of the Caf Champions League on Saturday night.

It was a must-win game for Sundowns who were keen to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit which they suffered two weeks ago and they duly obliged with a 4-0 second-leg win [5-2 on aggregate], thanks to a brace by Sirino alongside goals by Mosa Lebusa and Themba Zwane. 

Ahead of the game Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane spoke about the need to come out of the blocks firing but was wary after watching his side draw 1-1 with Cape Town City in midweek and was hopeful his side would beat the effects of fatigue.

However, he refrained from making too many changes with the only enforced change being Hlompho Kekana.

The midfielder picked up a red card in the correlating fixture and his absence meant Andile Jali partnered Rivaldo Coetzee in the middle of the park with Sirino playing just ahead of them – a move which proved fruitful.

As expected, the home side did all the attacking in the early stages of the game with Otoho happy to sit back and defend their slender lead.

In the build-up to the game, Mosimane also suggested his side needed to find a way to break down Otoho's defence, and it seemed they found the ideal ingredient to hurt their opponents, by playing a slick, short-passing game.

Tebogo Langerman undoubtedly should have placed Sundowns ahead when the ball arrived on a plate for him inside the box, but his effort cannoned off the upright to his and Sundowns’ disappointment.

While Sundowns were still reeling from the miss, they were handed a reprieve shortly after when Lebohang Maboe was brought down by Otoho keeper Wolfrigon Ngobo.

Sirino, who was yet to hit the heights expected from him this season, having only recently returned from injury, made no mistake to open his account for the season.

The goal immediately put Sundowns on the front foot but they were dealt a blow when the player who came up with the all-important away goal in Congo, Thapelo Morena was taken off with an injury with only 20 minutes played. He was replaced by Anele Ngcongca.

Otoho had never won a Champions League away clash and it was looking likely the run would continue when Sundowns doubled their advantage only a few minutes later.

This time, Sirino turned provider with his freekick finding Sibusiso Vilakazi, whose initial effort was kept out by Ngobo before Lebusa made no mistake from close range.   

Minutes later Maboe almost joined in on the scoresheet but his low drive from range flew just past the Otoho goal.

Sirino stole the show, and he completed his brace with a simply sumptuous curling effort from just outside the area which landed in the top right corner and even earned applause from his coach.

Although Sundowns were firmly in the driving seat, Zwane joined in on the goalscoring party with five minutes to go in the first half and made the scoreline 4-0 as the sides headed into the half-time interval.

The return from the interval saw Sundowns again on the prowl although there was a slight dip in tempo.

Sirino led the chorus and it didn’t take long for him to hit his stride once again. This time it was his deft touch which played Vilakazi through on goal, but ‘Vila’ and teammate Zwane just could not score.

To Otoho’s credit, they were not throwing in the towel and Denis Onyango was forced into a rare save as he kept out a long-range drive with a diving save.

On the other hand, Sirino’s vision was second to none and his quality was truly unmatched. But unfortunately for him, Sundowns were guilty of squandering golden opportunities which did not hurt them too much despite Otoho coming more into the game after the hour mark.

Meanwhile, Sirino was rather unlucky not to complete his hat-trick with just over 20 minutes to go when his effort rifled against the woodwork with the Otoho keeper watching in despair.

With Sundowns firmly in the lead and victory sealed, the remaining minutes were rather tame as Sundowns extended their unbeaten home record to seven games in all competitions and advance into the next round.