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Sundowns suffer first-leg loss to Esperance in Champions League semis

Mamelodi Sundowns suffered a 1-0 loss to Esperance Sportive de Tunis in the first leg of their CAF Champions League semi-final clash at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

ES Tunis playmaker Yan Sasse scored the only goal of the match four minutes from the half-time break.

The result also means that the DStv Premiership champions have suffered a defeat for the first time in 22 matches.


The hosts put pressure on Sundowns in the early stages of the match. The first Sundowns move came in the 13th minute after some nice touches, but Marcelo Allende’s shot went over the bar.

Setback for Mamelodi Sundowns after they suffer a first-leg loss to Esperance
Yan Sasse celebrate against Sundowns

Captain Themba Zwane thought he had found a lead for the visitors in the 37th minute after a cross from Thembinkosi Lorch. But the goal was adjusted to be offside.

The home side responded moments later but hit the crossbar. Esperance finally got the lead following a strike by Brazilian player Yan Sasse four minutes from the break to take the game to 1-0 at half-time.


Masandawana came back a rejuvenated side and nearly equalised in the early stages of the half. Lorch’s shot went over the bar.

Despite making some changes Sundowns failed to find an equaliser. Mothobi Mvala produced a long-range shot in search of an equaliser towards the end of the match but Amanalla produced a superb save.

Masandawana players that were ruled out before the match due to injuries.

Bongani Zungu: Groin injury, stage three rehabilitation
Rushine De Reuck: Knee injury, stage two rehabilitation
⁠Siyanda Nyanga: Knee injury, post operation, stage two rehabilitation
⁠Matias Esquival: A knee injury. Stage three rehabilitation
Tebogo Mokoena: Hamstring injury, stage two rehabilitation
Abdelmounaim Boutouil: Groin injury, stage two rehabilitation
 Rivaldo Coetzee: Illness
Reyaad Pieterse: Illness
Lesiba Nku: Illness.

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