Sundowns stunned as Sasse secures victory for Esperance

football20 April 2024 21:54| © AFP
article image
Khuliso Mudau © Getty Images

Mamelodi Sundowns faced a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Esperance of Tunisia in a tense Caf Champions League semifinal first-leg clash, with Brazilian midfielder Yan Sasse proving to be the match-winner.

Sasse, who joined Esperance after playing for Wellington Phoenix reserves in New Zealand, scored his third goal of the competition on 41 minutes, capitalising on a superb through ball from compatriot Rodrigo Rodrigues.

Despite Sundowns' efforts, including a disallowed goal and several near misses, they were unable to breach Esperance's solid defence.


In another semifinal clash, title-holders Al Ahly of Egypt held TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo to a goalless draw in Lubumbashi.

Despite Mazembe's clear-cut chances and Ahly's injury-depleted lineup, including the absence of key players like goalkeeper Mohamed el Shenawy and regular scorer Hussein el Shahat, the Egyptian outfit managed to hold firm defensively.

With the return matches set to take place on Friday, Ahly remains the favourite to advance to the final, holding the advantage with an away draw.

Meanwhile, Sundowns will be eager to overturn the deficit as they host Esperance.