Absa Premiership

Sundowns knocked out of CAF Champions League

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

Mamelodi Sundowns were knocked out of the CAF Champions League at the quarter-final stage after a 1-1 draw at home against Al Ahly saw them go out 3-1 on aggregate on Saturday.

After going down 2-0 in Cairo last week, Sundowns already faced an uphill task but that was made worse when Lebohang Maboe netted an own goal in the first half even though Gaston Sirino found the equaliser on the day not long after.

It was Masandawana, as expected, that started the match on the front foot and Themba Zwane had a chance as early as the second minute but hit an effort over the bar.

Hlompho Kekana was the next man to have go but his shot went just wide of the post as the hosts failed to get the early breakthrough.

The Egyptian giants weathered the storm and promptly took the lead in the 21st minute when Maboe inexplicably deflected a free kick into his own net.

The goal stung the South African side and they replied immediately as Sirino had an easy tap in after Zwane's effort was saved by visiting goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.

The Brazilians still needed three goals if they were to progress to the last four of the continental tournament.

Al Ahly though are not record eight-time Caf Champions League winners for nothing and held out until halftime with the score level on the day.

With a big crowd at the Lucas Moripe Stadium behind them, Sundowns probed and pressed after the interval with Sibusiso Vilakazi and Zwane having efforts saved by El Shenawy.

The Egyptians still posed a threat on the counter-attack and Denis Onyango had to be alert in the Sundowns goal to save from Junior Ajayi with 20 minutes of the tie remaining.

As the clock ticked on it was becoming more evident that the home team were not going to find the necessary goals to stay in the competition.

José Alí Meza had one final chance for Sundowns with five minutes left but he too was foiled by El Shenawy as the Egyptians marched into the semifinals of the Caf Champions League.

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