The unthinkable unfolded before our eyes when Mamelodi Sundowns dismantled Al Ahly 5-0 at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday. The Egyptian giants face an insurmountable task of overturning the scoreline in the return leg this weekend. Will the Team of the Century pull off a mighty miracle or will the Brazilians compound the humiliation?
CAF Champions League, Quarter-Final
Al Ahly vs Mamelodi Sundowns
Saturday 13 April
Borg El Arab Stadium
To Win * Forecast betting
Al Ahly 9/20
Mamelodi Sundowns 57/10
I expect a full house at the Borg El Arab Stadium as the most successful team in CAF Champions League history seek to rewrite this quarter-final’s script. The Red Devils had no answers to the problems caused by Mamelodi Sundowns and they could have lost 10-0 had the Brazilians been more efficient in front of goals.
Al Ahly have won all their home games in this season’s tournament and they’re known for subjecting visiting opponents to hostile treatment to gain the psychological edge over them. Their former player, Phakamani Mahlambi put the final nail in their coffin by scoring the fifth goal in South Africa and I’m expecting coach Pitso Mosimane to bench him to protect him from Egyptian fans.
Al Ahly were found wanting in many departments on the field especially in defence as they didn’t know how to play out from the back and they couldn’t cope with the two number 10’s that operated in the half spaces for the opponents. The only thing they can count of is the energy of their fans in their own backyard.
You can tell that the Brazilians really did their homework and Mosimane revealed that they watched eight games of the opponents and the last two were high-profile encounters with Pyramids and Zamalek. All the threats that the opponents could potentially pose, were easily nullified which was down to proper preparation.
What’s nice about this victory is that they had five different players on the scoresheet which will give their opponents a headache as goals could come from anywhere. Overcrowding the central areas with two number 10’s to suck in the opponents’ fullbacks and wingers which created space for Thapelo Morena and Tebogo Langerman worked wonders.
Sundowns are experienced in this tournament and they’re accustomed to dealing with mind games that are played by opponents on foreign soil. The 2016 champions take a healthy 5-0 lead to the territory of the 2017 and 2018 runners up which makes for a compelling contest. Sundowns don’t have a good record away from home but will they concede at least five goals without scoring?
Al Ahly: 4-1-4-1
El-Shenawy; Hany, Samir, Ashraf, Maaloul; Al-Sulaya; Sobhi, Fathy, Walid, Ajayi; Mohsen
Onyango; Ngcongca, Arendse, Nascimento, Langerman; Morena, Kekana, Mabunda, Zwane; Sirino, Maboe.
Prediction: Al Ahly (9/20)
In the group stage, Sundowns lost two and drew one of their three games while Al Ahly won all their home matches. This clearly indicates how dangerous the Egyptian outfit are at home and how weak the visitors are on the road. Sundowns will definitely go through in my opinion but the hosts should win this particular match.
Written by Benedict Ngwenya
Short term investment plans advice