Ahly and Sundowns draw thriller in Champions League

Ahram Online , Saturday 25 Feb 2023

Egyptian giants Ahly have been held to a 2-2 draw by their bitter rivals Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the CAF Champions League on Saturday leaving the Red Devils without a win in two games.

Al-Ahly Winger Hussein El-Shahat fights for the ball during the match between Al-Ahly and on Saturday 25 February, 2023. Photo courtesy of Al-Ahly Facebook page.


Peter Shalulile 34 and Thapelo Morena 80 cancelled Ahly’s lead through Mohamed Abdel-Moneim and Hussein El Shahat in the 59th and 74th minute.

The 10-time African Champions dropped two precious points against Sundowns who mounted a serious rivalry to Ahly in recent years.

The Red Devils are now third of Group B with a single point from two games behind leaders Sundowns, seven points, and Al-Hilal of Sudan, six points, but both have played one game more.

Ahly could have grabbed an early lead when Ahmed Abdel-Kader robbed the ball from Sundowns defence and broke into the area but his poor finish was easily denied by keeper Ronwen Williams.

Ahly continued on their high pressure and Malian midfielder Aliou Dieng released South African striker Percy Tau in the area but he failed to control the ball and Williams collected it.

But that was not for long as Sundowns regained their composure and displayed their brand of fluid offensive football.

After two missed chances Shalulile redeemed himself to put Sundowns in the lead just past the hour mark after intercepting a low cross from Cassius Mailula at the far post.

Thrilling half

Ahly could have levelled the score when Mohamed “Afsha” Magdy connected with a corner kick but the ball was cleared from the goal line.

The Red Devils upped their game after the interval and had a golden opportunity to score the equaliser when they were awarded a penalty after a foul on Tau in the box. But Williams saved Mohamed Hany’s shot in the 52nd minute to protect his team’s lead.

Finally the hosts were able to capitalise on their large number of set pieces when Maaloul crossed Ahly’s eighth corner kick (12 in total) to an unmarked Abdel-Moneim in the area to score the equaliser in the 59th minute.

Ahly continued on their pressing until El Shahat skipped past his marker to shot at the near post and give Ahly the lead in the 74th minute.

El Shennawy was tested on several occasions by the skilful South African attackers.

But Ahly’s defensive frailties were again exposed when second half substitute Thapelo Morena collected a rebound in the box to score from close range the equaliser 10 minutes from the final whistle.


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