Mamelodi Sundowns arrive in Kampala after poor showing at home
Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | A loss of form by African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the South African Premiership continued Tuesday when they were held 0-0 at home by draw-specialists Polokwane City.
The Pretoria club have collected just two points and failed to score in three league matches despite boasting an expensively assembled attack.
Drawing left Sundowns fifth, four points behind leaders Wits with two matches in hand.
“We are expected to win every match and this pressure leads to anxiety among my players,” said Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.
— KCCA FC (@KCCAFC) March 15, 2017
In a late onslaught, Percy Tau, captain Hlompho Kekana and Ivorian Yannick Zakri wasted chances to win the match for the home side.
It was the sixth consecutive Premiership draw for Polokwane, who climbed one place to sixth, seven points adrift of Sundowns having played four matches more.
CAF Champions League title-holders Sundowns arrived in Kampala on Wednesday to defend a 2-1 lead away to KCCA of Uganda in the second leg of a last-32 tie.
Mamelodi Sundowns failed to build on a great start to their CAF Champions League title defence last week.
The defending African champions were two goals ahead within six minutes of the last-32 first leg match at Lucas “Masterpieces” Moripe Stadium in Pretoria.
But the visitors gradually became composed and more adventurous and halved the deficit midway through the second half.
The away goal means a 1-0 victory for KCCA in Kampala this week would see a Ugandan club reach the group stage of the Champions League for the first time.
“We let ourselves down by not playing very well,” admitted Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane. “Now we must go to Uganda and fight for survival.”
KCCA coach Mike Mutebi said: “Scoring an away goal will boost our confidence, but a big battle lies ahead in the return match as Sundowns are a very good side.”
Ivorian Bangaly Soumahoro, one of five starters who helped beat Zamalek of Egypt in the 2016 final, nodded Sundowns into the lead after two minutes.
Brazilian Ricardo Nascimento doubled the lead on six minutes from a penalty awarded when Thapelo Morena was pushed in the back.
Ugandan international Geoffrey Sserunkuma, who has played top-flight football in South Africa, struck on 69 minutes by sidefooting a cross into the net.