Mosimane outwits Sundowns in Cairo
Mamelodi Sundowns suffered a 2-0 loss in their CAF Champions League football quarter-final, first-leg match away to Al Ahly at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Saturday night.
The Brazilians put in a solid display in Egypt — against a team managed by their former mentor, Pitso Mosimane — and were the better team through the second half.
However, an inability to capitalise on their attacking opportunities cost them dear, with the Red Devils holding the advantage thanks to goals from Taher Mohamed and Salah Mohsen.
Al Ahly started strongly, pressing high up the pitch to try and force Sundowns into mistakes. However, the South African side soon found their rhythm and created two fine chances around the 20-minute mark.
The first saw Gift Motupa hit the post with a glancing header from Aubrey Modiba’s in-swinging free-kick delivery, while a corner kick shortly thereafter allowed Motupa to again get on the end of a set piece but send an effort wide of goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy’s left-hand post.
‘Downs were immediately made to rue those misses, as Ahly claimed the lead on 23 minutes through a superb solo goal from Taher Mohamed.
The attacker picked up a long pass out to the left flank before cutting inside and working space for a fiercely-hit shot from just outside the “D” of the penalty area which rocketed past goalkeeper Denis Onyango for 1-0.
The Brazilians did not let their heads drop or lose their patient passing approach in the wake of the goal, though the absence of playmaker Themba Zwane certainly hampered their ability to unlock their opponents’ defence from open play.
The start of the second half saw Ahly make a change in defence, as Yasser El Hanafi replaced Rami Rabia, who was walking a tightrope after an early yellow card and could easily have been sent off in the first half. — Supersport.com.