Monday, 20 August, 2018

Messi and Barcelona teammates beat Sundowns to win Mandela Trophy

Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Sibusiso Vilakazi of Sundowns- May 16 2018 Backpagepix
Sidney Guerrero | 17 May, 2018, 17:31

The Brazilians suffered a 3-1 loss to the Spanish champions in an global friendly played at the FNB stadium on Wednesday night.

A goal each from Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Andre Gomes ensured the Catalans beat their hosts 3-1 in the annual Mandela Cup.

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.

Messi had been struck down by a bout of flu and only came on for the final 20 minutes; his appearance preceded by chants for him to be brought on, with a roof-lifting roar following when he got off the bench to warm up.

After the game, Valverde expressed his delight at the occasion, saying: "I liked our opponents a lot due to their enthusiasm, it was a very nice match and the atmosphere was fantastic".

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

Rupee rebounds 27 paise vs Dollars
In the forex markets on Wednesday, the rupee opened lower at 68.14 and slipped further to a fresh multi-month low of 68.15 in early trade.

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane admitted that the two defensive mistakes they made against Barcelona somehow cost them the game.

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

Ernesto Valverde had been criticised for resting players from the thrilling 5-4 defeat to Levante that saw Barca's unbeaten LaLiga season come undone in the penultimate match of the season.

Dembele scored inside nine minutes past Uganda Cranes number one and captain Denis Onyango after a sloppy clearance from Soumahoro Bangaly.

Substitute Andre Gomes scored Barcelona's third in the 66th minute, before Messi was introduced to a rousing reception by the South African supporters in the 70th minute.

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