Advantage Al Ahly following Maâloul brace

Al Ahly will take a 2-0 advantage into the second-leg CAF Champions League quarterfinal against Mamelodi Sundowns following a comfortable win at Cairo Stadium in Cairo on Saturday evening.

The Red Devils dominated from start to finish in what is a repeat of last season’s quarterfinal showdown.

Eager to exact revenge on the South Africans, Al Ahly seemed to up their performance in the first-leg battle and after a goalless first-half, the hosts took control of the tie thanks to a brace from Ali Maâloul.

The Tunisia international opened the scoring in the 56th minute following a lung-busting run from deep. Having started the attacking move, he finished it with aplomb after receiving a neat ball from Junior Ajayi before sliding a left-footed finish past Denis Onyango.

Maâloul doubled the hosts lead 12 minutes later from the penalty spot with a thumping finish after Hlompho Kekana chopped down Aliou Badji inside the area.

Fearing the worst, Sundowns fell deeper and deeper into their own half as the record eight-time champions continued to dominate proceedings, but the hosts were unable to add to their advantage to give Sundowns a glimmer of hope.

The reverse fixture will take place at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville next Saturday, 7th of March.

Al Ahly (0) 2 (Maâloul 56′ 68′)
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0

Al Ahly: El Shenawy; Fathy, Maâloul, Ibrahim, Al Sulaya, Metwalli, Magdi Kafsha (El Sheikh 80′), Dieng, El Shahat (Soliman 58′), Mohsen (Badji 65′), Ajayi.

Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango; Arendse, Nascimento, Lebusa, Madisha, Kekana, Jali, Zwane (Langerman 85′), Sirino (Mabunda 68′), Vilakazi (Mahlambi 68′), Maboe.

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Staff Reporter