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Barcelona beat South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in friendly match

Barcelona beat South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in friendly match

Barcelona beat South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in friendly match

This is the second time that Sundowns will host Barcelona for a friendly game, having previously met in 2007, a match that the Catalans won 2-1.

The game, which was played at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, was part of events to commemorate what would have been late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.

Though Messi, Gerrard Pique and Philippe Coutinho all started from the bench, an otherwise strong Barca XI encountered few hiccups, aside from a Sibusiso Vilakazi consolation strike in the 76th minute.

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

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Barcelona will round off this season's LaLiga campaign with a home game against Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Because Barcelona ended up losing their unbeaten run without Messi against Levante, the wisdom of agreeing to a friendly fixture before the end of the domestic season is likely to be questioned.

Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez scored first-half goals and Andre Gomes added another after the interval to help the Spanish champions coast past its South African counterpart.

More sloppy defending gave Barcelona a third goal on 67 minutes when an interception set up Gomes to fire past substitute goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.

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