Barca Too Strong For Sundowns

May 16, 2018

Barca proved too strong for Mamelodi Sundowns as they registered a 3-1 win in the Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup on Wednesday night.

Dembele grabbed the lead for Barça in the third minute, cutting onto his left foot before curling the ball into the top corner after Bangaly Soumahoro made a sloppy clearance.

Percy Tau had a chance to equalise for the Brazilians in the 11th minute after going through on goal but he fired straight at Blaugrana goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Seven minutes later, Luis Suarez made it 2-0 for Ernesto Valverde’s charges with a low drive under Denis Onyango after being played in by Denis Suarez.

Suarez had another opportunity for the Spanish giants in the 25th minute after he was sent through one-on-one with Onyango, but the Masandawana shot-stopper came out quickly to collect at full-stretch.

Hlompho Kekana almost reduced the deficit for the hosts in the 33rd minute with a thunderous long-range strike that was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Ter Stegen.

Denis Suarez should have got the third goal for Barça seven minutes before the break with a header at the back post, but he could only steer his effort onto the upright before the break.

Kekana had a chance to pull one goal back for the Brazilians shortly after the restart with a low strike eight minutes into the second stanza, but Barça goalkeeper Jasper Cilessen smothered the strike after replacing Ter Stegen.

Andre Gomes made it 3-0 for the Blaugrana in the 67th minute with a clinical strike after an atrocious blind back-pass from Kekana that was intercepted before being teed up for the forward to curl home.

Sibusiso Vilakazi pulled one goal back for Pitso Mosimane’s troops 15 minutes before time picking a bottom corner with a right-footed strike after beating the offside trap to receive Tau’s well-executed pump-fake.

Tebogo Langerman should have got the second goal for Masandawana four minutes later after he was sent through by Gaston Sirino on the left side of the box but instead of taking a shot, he opted for a pass across the box and the ball was intercepted ahead of the waiting Tau.

Lionel Messi eventually came off the bench for a late cameo and almost got the fourth goal for Barça five minutes before time with a shot that almost sneaked past goalkeeper Kennedy Mwene, who gathered at the second attempt.

There were still chances for both sides in the closing minutes, but the score ended 3-1 to Barça in an entertaining clash.