Laffor’s Sundowns Reach Champions League Quarterfinals

The 2017 CAF Champions League has reached the knockout stage with eight clubs entering the quarterfinals of the competition. One of the clubs that has advanced to quarterfinals are the defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, the employer of South African based Liberian international, Anthony Snoti Laffor.

The South African side reached the quarterfinals after a 1-1 draw at home against Congolese club AS Vita Club to finish second in Group C. The Sundowns’ hopes of concluding their group stage campaign with a win were quashed after the visiting side scored in the 73rd minute to cancel Thabo Nthethe’s first half goal.

The Sundowns got their first goal in the 35th minute through 32-year-old South African midfielder Nthethe. The former Bloefontein Celtic center defender put his side ahead with a close-range shot after receiving a pass from fellow South African, Thapelo Morena.

The Sundowns would go on to defend their lead until the 73rd minute when AS Vita got the equalizer.

With Group C winners, Esperance Tunis, ending their group stage with a 4-0 win over St. George, the Sundowns’ draw with AS Vita helped them finish second with a total of nine points from six games. The five-time South African ABSA Premiership winners finished three points behind Esperance Tunis, which had 12 points.

The Sundowns’ second place finish has drawn them against Group D winners, Moroccan club, Wydad Casablanca, the former team of Liberian international striker, William Jebor.  Liberians across the world would have loved to see two Liberians play against each other in a continental club competition for the first time, but with Jebor leaving the Moroccan league champions after the end of his loan, that encounter may not happen anytime soon.

The Sundowns will host the North African side on September 7 at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium before the return leg a week later in Casablanca.

Featured photo courtesy of T. Kla Wesley Jr.

T Kla Wesley Jr.

T. Kla Wesley Jr. is a member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia.

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