Barcelona beat Mamelodi Sundowns


Sibusiso Vilakazi scored Sundowns' goal late on but Barca was in cruise control.

"It's not only special for me but to all South Africans, people in Africa, the whole world to see Barcelona playing against a South African team".

A defensive mix up from Sundowns allowed Luis Suarez to double Barcelona's lead in the 19th minute, through a pass by Denis Suarez.

Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andr ter Stegen, meanwhile, added: "It has been a great experience for us and we are pleased to have won in front of the South African fans". The morale of the Sundowns team was also affected and the mistakes continued to amount.

Brazilians coach Pitso Mosimane acknowledged that the gap in class between his club and the Spanish giants. When they scored the first goal in the first minute, we started to ask: "'How many goals were coming?'" he said. With sloppy goalkeeping and a weak defense Mosimane tried spicing things up in the second half with even goalkeeper Denis Onyango being replaced by Zambian keeper Kennedy Mweene but the results seemed the same.

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Valverde made 10 changes during half-time, but Messi was not among those introduced, leading the crowd to repeatedly chant "Messi, Messi, Messi".

"The match was originally fixed for Tuesday, 15 May 2018 but was postponed at the request of Mamelodi Sundowns", it said.

SA league champions Sundowns host their Spanish counterparts in the highly anticipated Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup encounter and the uncertainty over Messi's availability had been a huge source of unease for the nation's soccer lovers.

The game was to celebrate the posthumous100th birthday of African icon Nelson Mandela.