Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 AS Togo-Port: Sirino stars as Downs keep Caf Champions League dreams alive

Masandawana have kept their hopes of TKO silverware alive with victory over Phunya Sele Sele

Mamelodi Sundowns kept their hopes of making it into the knockout stages of the 2018 Caf Champions League with a 2-1 win over AS Togo-Port on Friday night. 

Gaston Sirino stole the show with a stellar performace on the night, opening the scoring before grabbing an assist in the second half. 

Sundowns' second goal was scored by Sibusiso Vilakazi, who beat the Togo-Port with rather a cheeky back heel from close range.

The visitors got a consolation goal in the latter stages of the game through Kokou Kloupo after Sundowns were caught napping at the back.  

While the home side created plenty of goalscoring opportunities to bury Togo-Port, they were not as clinical in front of goal. 

This would not sit well with Pitso Mosimane, especially because his team have not been doing well so far in the group stages.

Sundowns started the match like a house on fire, and they were ahead 11 minutes into the encounter through Sirino. 

The South American attacker received a defence-splitting pass from Themba Zwane. He then controlled the ball to beat his marker before toe-poking the ball the goalkeeper. 

It was soon 2-0 to Sundowns after Sirino turned his marker inside out on the right hand side of AS Togo-Port's box, before setting up Vilakazi, who netted with a stunning back heel from inside the small box.

The scoreline left the visitors in complete shock as they couldn't mount a serious come back from then on.

They were chasing shadows for the better part of the game, and Sundowns would rue missing some clear-cut goalscoring chances despite heading into the interval leading AS Togo-Port. 

Mosimane's men picked up where they left off at the start of the second period as Sirino ran riot against the Togolese side. 

However, the diminutive player was at times holding on to the ball for far too long, making it almost difficult for his teammates to make those dangerous runs into the box. 

Sundowns showed just why they're regarded as one of the best teams on the continent by dominating possession, completing over 670 passes on the night. 

They also had more shots at goal (14), with six of those on target which is a disappointing return looking at how poor AS Togo-Port were on the pitch. 

Even with Jeremy Brockie on the pitch, the Sundowns attack still didn't do much in terms of testing the goalkeeper. Instead, they often fired wide from close range.

With the game approaching the 90th minute Kloukpo got the goal for the visiting team, lobbing the past the on-rushing Denis Onyango, who had little to do in the second half. 

Nonetheless, it was too little too late for Togo-Port to snatch a draw as Sundowns held on to claim three important points. 

The 2016 African champions are now second on the Group C log with five points from their opening four games, but Horoya can overtake them as they are also on five points from three games.