Themba Zwane netted twice for Mamelodi Sundowns, who drew 2-2 with AS Maniema Union of Democratic Republic of Congo in their CAF Champions League second preliminary round first-leg clash on Sunday afternoon.
Veteran Defender Mosa Lebusa returned back to action from injury to make the starting line-up while Khuliso Mudau, Rivaldo Coetzee and Brian Onyango were also handed their re-calls to the first team. However, the Tshwane giants had five players who were ruled out of the match, with Lebogang Maboe, Grant Kekana, Divine Lunga, Rushine De Reuck and Mothobi Mvala not available for selection on the day.
The Brazilians were looking to have a good start to the game as they pave their way to reach the group stages after topping their group last term while Maniema qualified for the very first time. Play-maker Themba Zwane gave his side an early lead in the ninth minute with his first CAF Champions League goal of season and a third goal of the season across all competitions
However, the reigning DStv Premiership champions were unable to hold onto to their lead going into the half-time break, as Maniema found the equaliser just before the interval with a defensive howler at the back line of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Masandawana changed their approach to the game in the second half as midway through, they made a double change by withdrawing strikers Thabiso Kutumela and Pavol Safranko for Sibusiso 'Villa' Vilakazi and Sphelele Mkhulise.
The tactical switch seemingly paid off for Mamelodi Sundowns, as Themba Zwane restored their lead in the closing 5 minutes to complete his brace and a 4th goal of the season for Mshishi.
But then again, the Brazilians succumbed to another late goal, as Maniema snatched the equaliser in the last minute although Sundowns do have two away goals to take into the second leg next week.
Sources: Soccer Laduma
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