Preview: Pyramids FC face challenging task against Sundowns in Champions League

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 9 Dec 2023

Egypt's Pyramids FC are gearing up for a formidable challenge as they prepare to take on South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns, one of the title contenders in the CAF Champions League, in the third round of the group stage on Saturday.

Ibrahim Blati
Pyramids Midfielder Ibrahim Blati Tour in action during the match with Nouadhibou on Saturday 2 December, 2023. Photo courtesy of Pyramids.


As newcomers to the Champions League, Pyramids FC started their group stage campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over DR Congo's TP Mazembe at Cairo's Air Defence Stadium.

However, they suffered a setback last month, losing 2-0 to Mauritania's FC Nouadhibou.

Currently, the Egyptian club finds themselves at the bottom of Group A with three points and a goal difference, trailing behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, TP Mazembe, and FC Nouadhibou.

"We have thoroughly analyzed our opponents, and the players of Pyramids FC have put in their best efforts during training to secure a victory and bring home the points," said Pyramids FC's Portuguese coach, Jaime Pacheco.

"We have put the 2-0 loss against FC Nouadhibou behind us, and our focus is now on achieving a positive result against Sundowns to progress in the CAF Champions League," he added.

Pyramids' squad will receive a boost with the return of key players such as Moroccan midfielder Walid El-Karti, veteran playmaker Abdallah El-Saied, winger Ibrahim Adel, midfielder Mahmoud Abdel-Aaty 'Dunga,' and Nigerian attacker Samuel Ojo, who have recovered from their injuries.

Unfortunately, Pyramids FC will be without the services of Congolese forward Fiston Mayele, as he was unable to obtain a visa to South Africa.

"Pyramids management made every effort to resolve Mayele's visa issues, but unfortunately, we were unable to do so, and he will miss the game," lamented the Portuguese coach.

"Mayele is an important player for Pyramids FC, and he has been nominated for the continent's best player award," Pacheco added.

On the other hand, the hosts, Mamelodi Sundowns, will be determined to secure a victory and solidify their position at the top of Group A.

With all four teams in the group currently tied on three points after two rounds, the competition is intense.

Mamelodi Sundowns have a history with Egyptian teams, having defeated Zamalek in three games to claim their first-ever Champions League title in Cairo.

They have faced Egypt's Ahly 13 times before, with Cairo giants claiming victory in four games, while Sundowns emerged victorious in five and drew in another four encounters.

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