Light ‘Vegetarian’ meal for Downs
● Vegetarians gobbled up 5-1 in second-leg Caf stroll at Loftus
When they drew a team from Equatorial-Guinea in the preliminary round of the Caf Champions League, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane bemoaned that other SA teams had drawn fishermen.
But Sundowns made a light meal of Leones Vegetarianos (Vegetarian Lions), completing a 7-1 aggregate thrashing with Wednesday night’s 5-1 secondleg stroll at Loftus Versfeld.
Jeremy Brockie in the fourth minute and Gaston Sirino with a penalty in the 18th put Downs 2-0 up.
Seydou Sall pulled one back in the 46th, but it was a lonely reply to Downs’ continued onslaught by Hlompho Kekana (55th), Jose Ali Meza (60th) and Lyle Lakay (86th).
By the fourth minute, Sundowns had a lead.
Themba Zwane, on the right of the box, passed inside to find the run of Sirino, who found Brockie free to finish.
Vegetarianos defender Ilde- fonso Asterio made a cabbage of a situation in his box in the 17th to gift Sundowns a penalty. Sirino stepped up and slotted low to the right of Pensy.
A lapse from Downs soon after the restart allowed centreforward Sall to finish past Denis Onyango.
Sundowns captain Kekana, though, put his team straight back on the front foot, taking a ball from 22 metres onto his less favoured left foot and striking crisply past Pensy to make it 3-0, and 5-1 on aggregate.
Zwane shrugged off centreback Eric Batinga twice on the left to advance and square for Meza, as Downs strolled in their fourth of the night.
Anthony Laffor and Toni Silva followed Meza off the bench.
Sirino’s skill on the left of the area created the space for left-back Lakay to slide in the fifth.
Meanwhile, striker Thamsanqa Gabuza made a scoring comeback to the Orlando Pirates starting lineup as a muchchanged selection eased to a 31 victory over Light Stars from Seychelles in their African Champions League first round‚ second leg tie on Wednesday.
The victory earns Pirates an 8-2 aggregate success in what was a gentle return to the elite continental competition after an absence of five years and sets up a second-round meeting with either African Stars of Namibia or Volcan Club from the Comoros‚ who are in action in Windhoek later on.
The first leg of that tie ended 0-0. Neither of those sides should present much opposition and Pirates will be heavy favourites to advance to the group stages.
It was a first appearance in a Buccaneers shirt for Gabuza since he stormed off the pitch in a 2-1 victory over Black Leopards in August‚ unhappy at the treatment he had received from the crowd.
He netted the second goal for the visitors and also had a hand in the third as his shot was fumbled by the home goalkeeper‚ allowing Abel Mabaso to net from the rebound.
It was a comprehensive victory for Pirates‚ who led 1-0 at the break after Linda Mntambo had given them the lead.
Mabaso’s goal was his first for the club‚ while Mntambo ensured he scored in both legs against Light Stars.
Coach Micho Sredojevic made 10 changes to his side‚ with captain Mpho Makola the only survivor from the 0-0 league draw with Maritzburg United at the weekend.
With possibly both eyes on the Telkom Knockout final against Baroka FC at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday‚ Sredojevic left most of his top players at home‚ with the 5-1 first leg victory giving him the leeway to do so.
It meant rare starts this season for Kuda Mahachi‚ Thabo Qalinge‚ Abbubaker Mobara and Mthokozisi Dube.
Pirates were winners of Africa’s elite club competition in 1995.