Mamelodi Sundowns were bitten by VAR again on Saturday as they exited the Caf Champions League at the hands of Petro Atletico, a 1-1 draw at FNB Stadium enough to take the Angolans through to the semifinals 3-2 on aggregate.
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Manqoba Mngqithi had bashed the Video Assistant Referee earlier this week, after Sundowns were denied an equaliser in Luanda, and in front of a sell-out crowd at FNB Stadium, VAR first struck in Sundowns’s favour.
Brian Onyango had netted in the 49th minute to give Downs the lead, turning the tie on its head with Sundowns set to go through on the away goals rule.
FNB Stadium roared its approval, but a few minutes later those cheers were muted when Quinto thought he had equalized for Petro, but the goal was disallowed via VAR for a foul on goalkeeper Denis Onayango.
Moments later, however, VAR was consulted again and the verdict was that Andile Jali committed a foul in the box and the man in the middle pointed to the spot. It was Petro skipper Tiago Azulo who needed no second invitation from 12 yards as he sent goalkeeper Onyango the wrong way to make it 3-2 on aggregate.
Themba Zwane could have made a difference in this tie but he missed a first half penalty as the designated spot-taker hit the crossbar after he was fouled.
Once Petro had netted their penalty, their defence remained resolute and stood their ground, making sure that they extinguished Sundowns’ threat.
It was an embarrassing result for Sundowns, and for the Angolans it was finally some joy on South African shores, after they lost to SuperSport United in the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup, to Sundowns in the 2019 Champions League group stages and to Chiefs in the 2020/21 group stages.
Atletico will now face either Moroccans Wydad Casablanca or Algerian side CR Belouizdad in the semifinals.