Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

Mamelodi Sundowns and ASEC Mimosas played to a goalless draw in their CAF Champions League Group A match in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Tuesday evening.

While the champions of 2016 had enough chances to return home with all three points on offer, they will take the draw knowing just how tough African elite level football, away from home can be.

Midfielder Thapelo Morena was a thorn in the flesh of the Ivorian team, as was Themba Zwane.

Morena had a superb chance to put the Brazilians ahead in the 35th minute when his speed and ball control saw him beat two Mimosas defenders en route to the danger area. Only some desperate tackling by the hosts kept the Sundowns danger man at bay.

Lebohang Maboe too was his usual creative self, but the pass to create the goal-scoring opportunity deserted him on the night.

Winger Lyle Lakay did more than his fair share of defensive work on the night as the Sundowns rearguard absorbed much pressure exerted on them in front of goalkeeper Denis Onyango.

At the start of the second half, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane made an all-South American substitution, when Uruguayan Gaston Sirino was substituted by ex-Amazulu goal-getter, Argentinian Emiliano Tade, but there was no way through the home team defence.

Sundowns will change their focus to the domestic scene as they prepare to host Polokwane City on Tuesday. 

African News Agency