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Morena’s magic stuns Ahly as Sundowns wins in Cairo

Thapelo Morena punched into the back of the net five minutes before the end, while Mamelodi Sundowns shocked Egyptian giants Al Ahly and their former head coach Pitso Mosimane with a 1-0 Group A Café Champions League win at Cairo International Stadium on Saturday night.

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This was Masandawana’s first ever win over the Red Devils on the road in six attempts and it was also their first ever goal away from home against Ahly, Morena grabbed the pass from Peter Shaluille and drove his finish past Mohamed El Shenawy.

Sundowns was also indebted to veteran Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, who replaced the injured Denis Onyango, who denied his age to acrobatically tip a header over the head in stoppage time to effectively seal the win. The Tshwane have now cemented their place at the top of Group A with seven points from three games, while Champions League holders Ahly have just one point from two games.

Percy Tau came off the bench for Mosimane’s side at half-time to mark his return from injury, as well as a first-ever appearance against his former side, Sundowns. The Bafana striker had the ball in the back of the net after a sharp run and finish, but was rightly offside.

Sundowns knew they would have to put their bodies on the line defensively and Brian Onyango did so with great success early on, blocking Hamdi Fathy’s shot for goal.

Masandawana co-head coach Rulani Mokwena was sent off just after half an hour and was given two yellow cards and a red card from Moroccan referee Redouane Jiyed, presumably for something he said.

Aliou Dieng fired a shot just over for Ahly, but the sides went to the break, prompting Mosimane to sign Tau for his first appearance of 2022 after missing the FIFA Club World Cup through injury.

Lyle Lakay had a long range attempt which was saved well by El Shenawy but it was Sundowns who had the final say as Shaluile eventually got a bad overground clearance showing composure to set up Morena who had only come a few minutes rather for Themba Zwane, to punch in the winner.

Ahly will now visit Tshwane on the weekend of March 11-13, who is in dire need of a Group A win, while Sundowns can put himself in full control of the group with another win.

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