Absa Premiership

Own goal seals top spot for Sundowns

Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - An own goal by Ali Mossad Gabr secured a 1-0 Caf Champions League win for Mamelodi Sundowns over Zamalek at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, near Pretoria on Wednesday.

With a draw seemingly on the cards, Gabr steered the ball past his own goalkeeper with 11 minutes remaining; to confirm Sundowns as Group B winners and as a result a place in the semifinals of the African showpiece. 

Sundowns played like a team destined for the title in the opening exchanges, bossing possession as the five-time champions were forced to chase shadows. 

But, having done all the spade work, the Brazilians and in particular Leonardo Castro failed to provide the finishing touches to a eye-catching move. With time and space in the box, the Colombian - surprisingly - guided his shot over the crossbar on eight minutes. 

Zamalek , though, soon found their rhythm and looked particularly dangerous down the left flank through new signing Ali Fathi. The left-back burst into the area before firing in a low cross - Denis Onyango doing well  to deny the White Knights a chance.

PSL Footballer of the season Khama Billiat sparked Sundowns back into life soon after. The Zimbabwean international, who has attracted reported interest from Al Ahly and Zamalek, denied in quick succession by Ahmed El-Shenawy. 

The Egyptian goalkeeper with two outstanding saves. 

Sundowns continued to create the better chances after the break with the hosts patients' almost rewarded on 58 minutes - Tebogo Langerman unlucky to see his shot fly inches wide. 

The Brazilians, filled with unending confidence, continued to dominate the five-time champions and after El-Shenawy denied Hlompho Kekana, Gabr prodded the ball into the back of his own net in the 79th minute from a Percy Tau cross. 

Sundowns saw out the final few minutes and next head to Enyimba on the 23 of August knowing that they have already booked their place in the final four. 

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