Sundowns players warm up before a match: Image via Facebook @ Mamelodi Sundowns

What records say about Sundowns’ loss to Mazembe

Mamelodi Sundowns’ defeat in Congo suggests that the reality of continental football is catching up with them.


Sundowns players warm up before a match: Image via Facebook @ Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns’ 1-0 loss to TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League match on Saturday ended a six-year record. It was the first time that Sundowns have lost to Mazembe in CAF competitions since 2017. The hosts, roared on by the home crowd, snatched the winner courtesy of skipper Glody Likonza’s 60th-minute goal. The Congolese attacking midfielder Likonza rose the highest to head the ball past the visitors’ goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

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How Mazembe reacted to win over Sundowns

The Moïse Katumbi-owned side has since taken to its Facebook page to celebrate the famous win over the Rulani Mokwena’s team. “Moïse KATUMBI’s protégés have just brought down the African Champions from their cloud,” reads a translated post on Mazembe’s official Facebook page.

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Which record did Sundowns surrender to Mazembe?

Going into the match at the Stade du TP Mazembe, the DStv Premiership holders had recorded three straight wins over the Congolese in Africa. The last meeting between the two teams was on March 16 2021, in the CAF Champions League. In that match, Sundowns defeated the Lubumbashi-based outfit 1-0 in South Africa. Days earlier, on March 6 2021, Masandawana had come back from Congo unscathed after beating the hosts 2-1. Previously, Sundowns also got the better of the five-time Champions League winners by defeating them 1-0 in a CAF Super Cup game.

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Why all is not lost for Mokwena and company in CAF Champions League

However, all is not lost for the South Africans as the result has simply left the group wide open. Mazembe have joined Sundowns and Pyramids on three points from two games each. Sundowns host Mazembe on March 2 2024, in the reverse fixture. Mokwena’s charges usually have a stroll in the park in the domestic league matches. But by now, Mokwena should be getting used to the rough-and-tumble of continental football.

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Compare and contrast home and continental records

Overall, this is the second loss in three continental matches for Sundowns, including in the African Football League (AFL). The Tshwane giants lost 2-1 to Wydad Casablanca in the AFL final, first-leg match last month. Sundowns eventually overturned the deficit in the second-leg encounter when they beat Wydad Casablanca 2-0 in Pretoria. The comprehensive home win saw the South Africans lifting the inaugural edition of the AFL 3-2 on aggregate. Since that time, the one-time Champions League winners have continued with their smooth home league run. They lead comfortably on the DStv Premiership log table.