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AFL: Timely goals give Sundowns excellent first leg victory at Petro de Luanda

Mamelodi Sundowns took a big step towards the semifinals of the African Football League on Saturday after defeating Angola’s Petro de Luanda by a 2-0 score in the first leg away from home. Marcelo Allende opened the scoring in the second half before Thapelo Maseko added another for the champions of South Africa who will attempt to finish the job back home in Pretoria when the teams meet again for the second leg on Tuesday.

The Estádio 11 de Novembro in Luanda was filled with Petro supporters eager to see their team triumph over Sundowns again after eliminating their opponents in the 2021-22 CAF Champions League quarterfinals. However it was a day of frustration for the Angolan champions who came up against the heroics of Sundowns goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

An excellent reflex save from Williams denied new Petro striker Alexandre Guedes in the 25th minute and then the South Africa national team shot stopper did even better just before halftime. After Mothobi Mvala was whistled for a foul in the penalty area, Williams came up huge to deny a spot kick attempt from Gilberto to keep the match scoreless.

The penalty save from Williams gave Sundowns the momentum they needed and Masandawana were rewarded for an improved effort in the second half. An excellent team movement in the 67th minute led to Argentinean playmaker Júnior Mendieta’s pass that found the run of Allende for the Chilean to fire past Nuno Marques in the Petro goal. The frustration continued for the hosts in the 81st minute after another South American, Uruguayan Gastón Sirino, found fellow substitute Maseko with a pass over the top for the rising talent to go around Marques and finish into an empty net.

Highlights from the first leg are below.

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