Mamelodi Sundowns cut down Algerian champs CR Belouizdad in Algiers

Mamelodi Sundowns cut down Algerian champs CR Belouizdad in Algiers

Mamelodi Sundowns once again showed they are a force to be reckoned with as they thumped CR Belouizdad 4-1 in Saturday's CAF Champions League quarter-final clash in Algiers.

The South African heavyweights will now take a commanding two-goal lead into next weekend's second leg, to be played on home soil.

Sundowns were looking to bounce back after last weekend's surprise Nedbank Cup exit at the hands of Stellenbosch FC, with coach Rulani Mokwena recalling Ronwen Williams, Thapelo Morena, Abdelmounaim Boutouil and Sipho Mbule.

And despite playing a strong Algerian outfit on the verge of winning their fourth domestic title in a row, the Brazilians immediately looked dangerous and were rewarded for their troubles after just four minutes.

Aubrey Modiba delivered a precise cross to Peter Shalulile, who snuck between two defenders in the box and headed in to give Sundowns the lead.

Masandawana continued to play with confidence and doubled their lead 20 minutes later when Shalulile cut back for Neo Maema, who side-footed the ball into the net from the edge of the area.

Despite having several opportunities to increase their lead after the half-hour mark, Sundowns were let down by poor execution and instead, it was the home side who reduced the deficit before half-time.

Belouizdad began to see more of the ball and got a lifeline just before the break when Miloud Rebiai headed in from close range following a corner kick.

But there would be no stopping the visitors after half-time as Sundowns quickly added a third goal when Shalulile seized the opportunity to attack a loose ball in the area and smashed it into the near corner.

As the tempo of the game began to slow down, Sundowns came close to scoring their fourth, with Shalulile escaping the offside trap and rounding Alexis Guendouz, but his shot hit the post.

But Masandawana did get another in extra time when Cassius Mailula, who had come on as a substitute, pounced on a loose ball in the area and tapped it over the goal-line to seal an emphatic victory away from home.