Mamelodi Sundowns put the fatigue of a long season‚ a bevy of injuries‚ the disappointment of losing their local league crown last week and a hostile crowd behind them to come away from Kinshasa with one of their best wins ever.
Downs enjoyed a 3-1 victory in the group phase of the African Champions League at the imposing Stade des Martyrs over AS Vita Club yesterday.
Having been held at home to a draw in their opening group game 10 days ago‚ this revives Sundowns’ hopes in the competition.
It also sends out a stern warning to the other contenders that it is going to be tough to wrestle the continental crown away from Pitso Mosimane’s team.
Goals from Antony Laffor‚ Yannick Zakri and Sibusiso Vilakazi saw Sundowns to their victory, but such was their quality that it could have been by a bigger margin.
Even without the likes of Khama Billiat‚ Tiyani Mabunda and Hlompho Kekana‚ Sundowns were superb as they mastered the game on the artificial turf and left the massive crowd singing their praises.
They now share top place with Esperance, of Tunisia‚ who they host in Atteridgeville next Friday.
After being level 1-1 at half time‚ Zakri and Vilakazi made sure of the three-point haul with second half goals‚ both scored by persistent pressing in the middle that forced errors out of the opponent.
Laffor has been the architect of some key goals for Sundowns in the Champions League over the last year and this was among his best.