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AFL: Mamelodi Sundowns advance despite early expulsion in second leg draw with Petro de Luanda

A highly anticipated semifinal duel with Egypt’s Al Ahly awaits for Mamelodi Sundowns after the South African champions confirmed an aggregate victory over Petro de Luanda with Tuesday’s 0-0 second leg draw in Pretoria. The Angolan champions failed to take advantage of a red card issued to Sundowns defender Mothobi Mvala within the opening two minutes and could not overturn the 2-0 first leg defeat in Luanda over the weekend. Sundowns will begin their semifinal clash against Al Ahly where the South African club will host the first leg in Pretoria on October 29.

After winning away from home in the first leg, Sundowns were widely expected to clinch advancement but soon after the kick off Mvala was issued a direct red card when he tripped up Petro striker Tiago Azulão to deny a clear goal scoring opportunity. Despite being reduced to ten players the hosts managed the match well and even posed more of a threat to score for long stretches.

Sundowns’ Uruguayan playmaker Gastón Sirino was the most influential player on either team, drawing a save from Petro goalkeeper Hugo Marques in the 13th minute before his dribbling run set up a long range effort from Khuliso Mudau that went wide in the 35th minute. Petro’s best chance arrived just before halftime when a cross from Carlinhos found Azulão for a header that just went over the goal of Sundowns keeper Ronwen Williams.

The second half presented even fewer scoring opportunities as Sundowns continued to keep the Petro attack well contained. Hopeful crosses and predictable services into the penalty area from the Petro attack characterized their efforts and Sundowns held on in a scrappy match to finish the job from the first leg.

Highlights of the second leg are below.

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