CR Belouizdad delivered a clutch performance to emerge as 2-0 winners against South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday in their CAF Champions League encounter, clinching qualification to the quarter-finals along with their opponents. In addition, CRB put an end to Sundowns’ 28-match unbeaten run in competitive matches, their previous defeat coming to Bloemfontein Celtic in the MTN 8 Cup last October.
After a promising start, Sundowns put themselves behind with self-inflicted wound. Backup goalkeeper Ricardo Goss got the start and in the 29th minute he passed a short goal-kick right to CRB player Amir Sayoud, who easily rounded the advancing Goss to slot his shot home. Poor defending popped up once again for CRB to punish just before halftime and put their lead beyond reach. Zine Boulekhoua put in a cross from the right flank that was misjudged by jumping Sundowns center-back Brian Onyango, allowing Ahmed Gasmi to snap a header with pace past Goss.
With plenty of games on the South African side’s plate in recent weeks and a regularly rotated squad, the Group B leaders weren’t quite the intimidating force they regularly are with qualification already secured. Despite the reduced quality of the team for Sundowns, they did have stretches where they were the better side and generated their fair share of chances. In the end it was an efficient and clinical performance from the Algerian side and their stubborn defense did well to hold on for the precious three points.
Highlights from the match are below.