Downs sink Mosimane’s Ahly
Masandawana victory a shock to Egyptians and their coach
In what was the 12th CAF Champion League clash between the two sides since 2001, Mamelodi Sundowns rewrote the chronicles of Africa’s elite inter-club competition after beating Al Ahly 1-0 in a Group A match to determine the top finishers of the pool phase at FNB Stadium, near Soweto, yesterday.
Downs victory came as a shock to a dejected-looking Pitso Mosimane as his team will now finish second best to Masandawana in the group phase mini-log and to make the loss even bitter, Jingles, as Mosimane is popularly known, recently signed a R2.5-million a month salary contract with Al Ahly.
For former Sundowns coach Mosimane, the loss comes on the backdrop of the Brazilians having earned their first win in Al Ahly’s backyard in Cairo when the Team of the Century succumbed 0-1 to Downs two weeks ago.
The Egyptian powerhouse have over the years amassed five wins over the South Africans from 11 games while suffering just two defeats. The remaining four matches ended in draws.
The Red Devils, who were made to look pedestrian by the PSL defending champions, started cautiously, intending not to give anything away. However, Downs looked more comfortable on the ball while also having the upper hand in the early exchanges.
Seconds after Mothobi Mvala hit the cross bar, Peter Shalulile opened the home team’s account with a stunning strike inside the box from a Lyle Lakay’s corner kick, with the proceedings 23 minutes old. And that was to be the lone goal that led to Mosimane
and his boys’ downfall.
Ethiopian referee Bamlak Weyesa was rather generous with his cautions, handing out yellow cards to Mohamed Abdelmonem, Shalulile and Ayman Ashraf, who came on in the second half.
The second stanza was characterised by a number of missed clear - cut chances by Sundowns’ Shalulile, Mvala, Themba Zwane and substitutes Pavol Safranko and Teboho Mokoena.
Both teams entered the Nasrec venue to the vociferous applause from a cluster of mainly kaboyellow supporters, more so for their ex-striker Percy Tau, who now dons the colours of arch-rivals Al Ahly.
Nedbank Cup: Friday: Venda Football Academy 3, University of Pretoria 3, Amatuks won 4-3 on penalties. Swallows 0, Royal AM 1. Yesterday: Sinenkani 0, Tshakhuma 3.
English Premier League: Yesterday:brighton 0, Liverpool 2.*