South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns were in superlative form on Saturday as they silenced record-winners Al Ahly 5-2 in Pretoria to become the second team to confirm their place in the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League.
Sundowns, playing at home, were in emphatic form totally dominating the Egyptians to move to the top of Group B with 10 points, six ahead of Ahly who remain third.
The South African clubside have now realised an unassailable lead and affirmed their place in the last eight.
Marcelo Allende, Themba Zwane, Teboho Mokoena and a Peter Shalulile double in the second half gave Sundowns the massive victory with Ahly’s consolation goals scored by Sherif Mohamed and Percy Tau.
The South African side were fast off the blocks and just three minutes into the game, they were leading when Allende scored with a brilliant low drive from distance.
But, Ahly worked their way back into the game and Sherif struck them level in the 13th minute.
Sundowns again went ahead (2-1) with a Zwane strike in the 24th minute.
The South African side kept their dominance and took a 3-1 lead at the break when Mokoena struck from a distance, five minutes to halftime.
In the second half, Ahly started off with a double sub Magdy Afsha and Ahmed Abdelkader coming in for Kendouci and Mohamed Taher.
The changes had an impact as Ahly were more effective offensively and they clawed one goal back on the hour mark when Tau finished off an assist from Ali Maaloul.
Ahly’s hopes of a comeback were, however, dashed in the 71st minute when Shalulile scored the first of his pair before he completed his brace in the 88th minute with a shot on the turn inside the box.
Ahly’s qualification hopes now lie in the balance as they are five points behind second-placed Al Hilal of Sudan with two rounds of matches left.
Elsewhere, defending champions Wydad Athletic Club inched closer to the quarter-finals after beating Petro de Luanda 2-0 in Angola.
Second half goals from Arsene Zola and Bouly Junior Sambou gave Wydad the victory, and a second consecutive victory for returning coach, Juan Carlos Garrido.
With the win, Wydad Athletic top Group A with nine points, five ahead of third-placed Petro and will only need a point in their next match to affirm a place in the last eight.
Petro’s chances of qualification are now slim and will have to win away to second placed JS Kabylie next weekend to have any realistic hopes. (NAN)
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