Mamelodi Sundowns put on a dominant display at the Lucas Moripe Stadium after thrashing Al Ahly 5-0 in the first leg of their Caf Champions League quarter-final on Saturday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Brazilians secured their place in the last eight after finishing second in Group B behind group winners Wydad Casablanca.
Sundown came into this encounter after they were forced to play to a goalless draw by fellow title contenders Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium in the Absa Premiership on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian giants made their way into the next round of the continental tournament after claiming top spot in Group D ahead of second placed Simba.
The last time these two sides met, Al Ahly came out on top after securing a 4-2 aggregate win over Sundowns in the second round of the same competition in 2007.
Sundowns got the game off to the perfect start when Gaston Sirino played a excellent diagonal ball into the path of Tebogo Langerman with plenty of space down the left flank. Langerman then picked out Themba Zwane, who slotted the ball home from close range.
The home side should have doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Sirino played Lebohang Maboe through on goal, but Maboe’s strike bounced off the Al Ahly keeper and narrowly wide of the right past.
However, they did managed to extend their lead two minutes later when Sirino’s free kick found Wayne Arendse into the area before the Sundowns defender tapped the ball home to make it 2-0.
Sirino missed a golden opportunity to extend their lead even further after 28 minutes, but the Uruguayan sliced his effort over the crossbar.
Zwane and Hlompho Kekana should have stretched the hosts’ lead when they both rattled the woodwork in quick succession.
The visitors had a chance of their own in the 37th minute when Marwan Mohsen found space in the area before directing his effort at goal, but could only manage to fire straight into the hands of Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango.
Onyango again came to his side’s rescue just before the half-time break when he made a low save to deny the visitors.
Pitso Mosimane’s side picked up where they left off in the first half when they were awarded a penalty early in the second half. Ricardo Nascimento stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to make it 3-0.
Sundowns then went to 4-0 in the 64th minute as Sirino received a pass from Langerman to expertly slot the ball into the right hand corner.
Langerman should have added to Sundowns goal tally when he found himself one-on-one with the Al Ahly keeper, but he was unable to bypass the keeper with his cheeky chip.
Phakamani Mahlambi rounded up the scoring in the 83rd minute when he was played through by Zwane before tapping the ball into an empty net.
Sundowns managed to hold on to their commanding lead until the final whistle to take a five-goal advantage heading into the second leg.
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