Eric Kwakwa stunned the home side as early as 38 seconds into the game with a superb shot just outside of the box that gave keeper Wayne Sandilands no chance to give the visitors the lead.
Coming into the second half, Sundowns slowly gained their confidence as Mzikayise Mashaba almost got his side level when his left footed strike from close range bounced off the woodwork after tearing through the Medeama defence in search of the equalizer
Substitute Benjamin Bature came close to extending his side’s lead after finding himself with just the Sundowns keeper to beat, but saw his effort go wide of goal.
Medeama looked to be home and dry but it was not meant to be for the Ghanaians after a lapse of concentration saw them conceding three goals in just 10 minutes.
Colombian Leonardo Castro found the back of the net with an easy header from the corner to level matters in the 80th minute.
From then on, it was one-way traffic to the Medeama goal area as the supporters rallied their team forward. Continuing with his amazing run of form, contender for player of the season, Khama Billiat fired the South African league champions to the lead with a spectacular volley from outside the box to make it 2-1 in the 84th minute.
With just three minutes to go, Medeama resorted to defending and at least go into the second leg with a one goal away advantage. However, this proved to be a costly decision as the hosts continued to pile on the pressure and were duly rewarded in the dying minutes of the game when super-sub, Cuthbert Malajila found the back of the net with a comfortable finish from close range to give the ‘Brazilians’ a two-goal advantage ahead of the return leg in Ghana next week.
Even though his side will go to Ghana with a 3-1 victory, Coach Pitso Mosimane said he was very disappointed that they left it to the closing stages of the match to score.
“We could have easily lost this match. I have never seen my team play so badly as they did in the first half. In fact, I barely recognised them as the team that I have been coaching. I am confident that we can score in Ghana provided that we play our normal game. It would have been even better travelling there with a clean sheet but I believe in my team’s ability,” said Mosimane.
Sweden-born coach, Tom Strand said tiredness got the better of his team against a side that has been doing very well.
“We ran out of steam towards the last minutes of the game and allowed them to come at us. We will look into fixing our mistakes ahead of the return leg,“ said a disappointed Strand.
Friday, 6 May 2016
Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) 2-0 Mounana (Gabon)
Ahly Tripoli (Libya) 0-0 Misr Makkassa (Egypt)
Saturday, 7 May 2016
Sundowns (South Africa) 3-1 Medeama (Ghana)
Young Africans (Tanzania) 2-0 Sagrada Esperanca (Angola)
MO Bejaia (Algeria) 0-0 Esperance (Tunisia)
Stade Malien (Mali) 0-0 FUS Rabat (Morocco)
El Merreikh (Sudan) 1-0 Kawkab (Morocco)
Sunday, 8 May 2016
TP Mazembe (DR Congo) vs Stade Gabesien (Tunisia)