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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Sundowns edge Mazembe in Caf Champions League

Sundowns and three other group winners will be seeded in the quarter-final draw of the Caf Champions League..

Mamelodi Sundowns beat TP Mazembe 1-0 to finish top of Group A in the 2023/24 Caf Champions League.

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Both teams came into the game having already qualified for the quarterfinals. They were on 10 points with Mazembe on top of the standings due to a better head-to-head record.

Peter Shalulile scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in front of their home fans.

Sundowns and three other group winners will be seeded in the quarter-final draw. They will be pitted against the runners-up from other groups while also having the advantage of playing the second leg at home. 

The first half got off to a slow start under the scorching sun in Tshwane. It was perhaps not a surprise that the goal came after the cooling break on the half hour mark.

The home team found their passing rhythm and a goal was looming with the Mazembe defence under siege.

Lucas Ribeiro was fouled inside the box by Kevin Mondeko to concede a penalty seven minute before the break as the DRC giants failed to contain a flowing move by the Brazilians.

Shalulile picked up the ball and sent Mazembe goalkeeper Alioune Faty the wrong way to score the decisive goal.

The visitors tried to unsettle the Sundowns defence but Ronwen Williams was untroubled for much of the opening 45 minutes.

Mazembe, five-time winners of this competition, did threaten the Sundowns rearguard on a couple of occasions in the second stanza but the Tshwane-based team remained resolute to win the group.

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Teboho Mokoena had two chances to double Sundowns’ lead. First, his free kick was spectacularly saved by Faty and later shot wide from a tight angle when he found himself inside the box with 16 minutes left on the clock.

Rulani Mokwena will be happy with the narrow victory. It was sweet revenge for Sundowns who lost by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture in Lubumbashi.