Sundowns slam Wydad 'bullies' as Zwane brace wins clash of giants

Johannesburg (AFP) –


Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane branded Wydad Casablanca "bullies" after the South Africans defeated the Moroccans 2-1 Saturday in a CAF Champions League clash of giants.

"Wydad are used to winning and they do not like it when they fail to do so," the 2016 Champions League-winning coach told reporters after the Group A match near Pretoria.

"They could not cope with us and bad decisions in the final third of the pitch cost us several more goals.

"Their reaction to being unable to impose themselves on the game was to bully everyone -- my players, the match officials and even the ball boys.

"Fortunately, we have grown used to competing in Africa and can stand up for ourselves. We can expect a tough time when we visit Casablanca in March for the return fixture."

In stoppage time, a Wydad player, angered by what he considered time wasting from Sundowns' goalkeeper Denis Onyango, pushed the Ugandan into an advertising board.

Instead of speeding up play, however, the Moroccan wasted time as he was yellow-carded by the Ethiopian referee.

A brace from long-serving Themba Zwane for Sundowns proved decisive in a showdown between 2016 champions Sundowns and 2017 trophy-holders Wydad.

It was the fifth match between the clubs in three seasons and each side has won twice with one draw. The latest episode of the rivalry was the first in which a team scored twice.

Having lost away to Lobi Stars of Nigeria in matchday 1 last weekend, Sundowns needed maximum points and began brightly with Zwane scoring from close range after eight minutes.

The South Africans squandered several chances to extend their lead before Mohamed Nahiri silenced the home crowd by firing a 35th-minute equaliser.

- Slamming -

Zwane netted again midway through the second half, slamming a weak headed clearance past goalkeeper Ahmed Tagnaouti for the decisive goal.

Sundowns' victory coupled with ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast edging Lobi Stars 1-0 in Abidjan means all four Group A contenders have three points from two matches.

The west African duel was settled on 38 minutes when Herve Diomande scored his first goal of the Champions League campaign by converting a penalty for 1998 champions ASEC.

Democratic Republic of Congo clubs had mixed results with V Club trouncing Simba SC from Tanzania 5-0 in Kinshasa while TP Mazembe crumbled 3-0 away to CS Constantine in Algeria.

V Club, whose lone Champions League title came 46 years ago, were once again indebted to star striker Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele, who bagged a brace in the one-sided Group D match.

Patou Bompunga, Fabrice Ngoma and Riddy Makwekwe also scored for the Black Dolphins, who lie second, one point behind record eight-time champions Al Ahly from Egypt.

The crushing defeat was a severe reality check for Simba, back in the group stage after 16 years, who came to DR Congo having won four of five qualifiers and group matches.

Group newcomers Constantine are becoming the surprise side of this Champions League with the victory margin over five-time African champions Mazembe totally unexpected.

All the goals came during the second half with Houcine Benayada, Nasreddine Zaalani and Sid Ali Lamri scoring for the Algerian outfit in Group C.

Constantine have not conceded a goal in six qualifying and group outings and lead the section by three points from Mazembe, who boast a total of 11 CAF titles.