Mamelodi Sundowns’ double over Al Ahly is one for the history books. The 2016 CAF Champions League winners defeated the Egyptian champions 1-0 in the return leg of Group A of the TotalEnergies Champions League. The same scoreline that Pitso Mosimane’s side were handed at home in the first leg.
Namibian Peter Shalulile scored the only goal of the match to secure Sundowns’ place at the top of the log with 10 points. Al Ahly, Al Merrikh and Al Hilal are all on four points after four matches. The victory has also secured the Brazilians a place in the quarter finals of the competition. Coach Manqoba Mngqithi says he was happy with his team’s performance.
“The game plan worked very well. I think it’s the game that we could have scored many goals on the day but be that as it may, I was unhappy with the header that we gave them at the death, I think Brian (Onyango) slipped a little bit but it was generally a good performance from the boys and a very good team work,” said Mngqithi.
Although Mngqithi is happy with the points, he believes the team can still put in better performances.
“I believe Sundowns can still play better than this, we can be more clinical with the balls that we get in the half spaces. There were many moments in the first half that I was irritated by our lack of precision and our focus in moments that were very decisive,” he said.
Mngqithi is however careful not to let the double over the reigning champions fool them to believe that they can walk away with the title.
“I would not want to take the wins against Al Ahly and get carried away because the fact is that Al Ahly have played far too many matches and they are not as fresh as the other teams. If we are fair, they are close to number 60 matches this season and that makes them not to be as sharp as the other teams. They can still be very dangerous given time. They came to this one (having) lost some players in the process. In as much as I would like to take the credit for winning this match, I do not want to think that this was the strongest team we have played in the Champions League this year ,” he added.
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