Sundowns fall to Pitso's Al Ahly

CAF Champions League

Mamelodi Sundowns went down 2-0 to Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly in the first leg of their CAF Champions League quarter-final on Saturday evening.

With Themba Zwane missing out, Gift Motupa was handed a start whereas Ahly kept Hussein El Shahat, Mohamed Sherif and Taher Mohamed as an attacking trio from Monday's Cairo Derby.

The much anticipated contest looked to hit the right notes in the first 20 minutes after Motupa rattled the woodwork from an inch perfect delivery by Aubrey Modiba.

Motupa pushed the host once again two minutes later when he headed a corner-kick beyond the net of goalkeeper and captain Mohamed El-Shenawy.

Pitso Mosimane’s side showed precision a minute later as a move from Aliou Dieng spotted Mohamed who went and cut inside to beat goalkeeper Denis Onyango with a smart finish.

Sundowns looked to get back into the contest following the closing minutes of the half, but Ahly held on to take the lead at the interval.

The Brazilians could’ve levelled matters 12 minutes from the break through a header from Mosa Lebusa following a near post corner, but El-Shenawy made a good stop.

Ahly remained on the back-foot midway following the second half as Peter Shalulile guided a cross from Modiba narrowly wide shortly after El-Shenawy parried Thapelo Morena’s cross-cum shot.

El-Shenawy rose again inside the last 20 minutes when he turned a solid effort from Motupa over the bar following a tee-up from substitute Kermit Erasmus.

However, the host regained control following the last two minutes and added a second after Salah Mohsen pounced on an error by Onyango for an easy finish.

In the end, the Cairo Red Devils marched to a pretty comfortable first-leg victory with the return-leg set for next weekend.

Confrimed line-ups:

Al Ahly: Mohamed El-Shennawy; Mohamed Hany, Ramy Rabiaa, Badr Banoun, Ayman Ashraf; Aliou Dieng, Amr El-Sulya, Mohamed Mahdy Afsha; Hussein El-Shahat, Taher Mohamed, Mohamed Sherif

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena Nascimento, Lebusa,  Modiba, Coetzee, Maboe, Mkhulise, Sirino, Shalulile, Motupa

Subs: Mweene, B. Onyango, Erasmus, Jali, Mvala, Vilakazi, Mudau, Mkhuma.

See where Al Ahly sit among the top-ranked sides in Africa in the gallery below.

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