- Petro led 1-0 from the first leg in Luanda
- Sundowns were the favorites having progressed to the quarters unbeaten
- Petro will face Wydad in the semis
Favourites Mamelodi Sundowns failed to progress to the semi-final of the CAF Champions League after being held to a 1-1 draw by Angola’s Petro de Luanda in the second leg of the quarter finals to bow out 3-2 on aggregate.
Having lost 2-1 in the first leg, Sundowns needed to win the return match by a margin of more than two goals to overturn the result, but they could not complete the job in a match that was once again full of VAR drama.
Tiago Azulao’s VAR awarded penalty secured a draw for Petro after Brian Mandela had put Sundowns ahead in the 49th minute.
Sundowns also had a first half VAR awarded penalty, bit Themba Zwane missed, while Petro had a goal in the second half also chalked out after a lengthy VAR check, the technology being used for the first time in the quarter final of the Champions League.
This is the first time that the Video Assistant Referee technology is being employed in the quarter finals of CAF Competitions. Its pilot was started two seasons ago when it was used in the final and last season was stepped down to the semis.
On the pitch though, it was a hugely competitive tie between the two sides with Sundowns having a better start, knowing only a win would take them through.
In the opening half, they had two golden chances falling on two of their best players. In the seventh minute, Peter Shalulile picked up a short backpass inside the box, but his eventual shot flew over the bar.
The home side had another close chance in the 26th minute when Neo Maema took a snap shot on the half volley at the edge of the box which went inches over.
Sundowns had a massive opportunity to head to the break a goal up when they were awarded a penalty following a VAR check after Joaquim Balanga was adjudged to have fouled Zwane inside the box.
The striker stepped on to take the spotkick, but saw his effort grease the outside of the bar and wide.
In the second half though, they had a perfect start when Kenyan defender Onyango struck them ahead after four minutes. The burly centreback tapped home from the edge of the six yard box after the keeper had spilled a freekick from Lyle Lakay.
Petro thought they had an equalizer six minutes later when Balanga had the ball inside the net after keeper Dennis Onyango seemed to have spilled a freekick from Jaredi Teixeira, but the goal was chalked off after a VAR review awarded a foul on Onyango by Pedro Pinto.
But the visitors kept their fight and had their goal in the 61st minute after another lengthy VAR review. Andile Jali was adjudged to have fouled Gleison Moreira inside the box. Skipper Azulao stepped up and made no mistake to level the tie on the evening.
After the equalizer, Sundowns made attacking changes, Pavol Safranko, Lesedi Kapinga and Gaston Sirino coming on in attacking changes. However, despite the efforts, Petro defended in numbers to ensure the score remained the same.