Careless Sundowns defending helps Barcelona triumph

Careless Sundowns defending helps Barcelona triumph

Soweto, South Africa | AFP | Careless defending gifted European giants Barcelona two goals as they defeated South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 Wednesday in a friendly game to honour the late Nelson Mandela.

Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Andre Gomes scored for the Spanish league and cup winners before Sibusiso Vilakazi pulled one goal back before a sell-out 80,000 Soweto crowd.

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Mandela, who died in 2013 having become the first democratically elected president of the republic 19 years earlier.

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South Africans thronged to Soccer City stadium on a cold night to see world superstar Lionel Messi and their wishes were granted when he came off the bench on 74 minutes.

His every touch drew huge applause and Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse was beaming after the final whistle having exchanged shirts with the Argentine maestro.

“I liked this Sundowns team very much — they displayed a lot of creativity and energy,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde.

“It is a pleasure to be in South Africa and I believe this huge crowd thoroughly enjoyed what both sides produced.

“We came to play football and to honour Nelson Mandela, someone who was very close to the hearts of all Spaniards.”

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Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said he was proud of his team and called the match a “great learning experience” for him and the players.

“I am so happy with my boys because they always tried to play football the way I want them to — building from the back.

“We did make crucial defensive errors, but I took a lot of positives from this match, including our passing and how we dispossessed Barcelona at times.”

The post Careless Sundowns defending helps Barcelona triumph appeared first on The Independent Uganda:.

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