Mamelodi Sundowns eager to break jinx over the Red Devils

Phakamani Mahlambi of Mamelodi Sundowns, has previously played for Al Ahly.
Phakamani Mahlambi of Mamelodi Sundowns, has previously played for Al Ahly.
Image: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns will finally get the chance to claim their first win over Egyptian giants Al Ahly when they clash in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Sundowns do not have a win over the North Africans in the four times they have met.

They have drawn twice while Al Ahly have secured two wins. They met in the preliminary rounds in 2007 and the final in 2001.

Back in 2007 the Egyptian giants secured a 4-2 aggregate win over the South African champions to advance to the group stages.

Former Downs midfielder Esrom Nyandoro, who was part of that squad from over a decade ago, has backed the current generation to overcome the North Africans.

"Our current team has been together for some time now and are very experienced in Africa," Nyandoro said.

"I think we have the quality to have a good result against them.

"Coach Pitso Mosimane has done a good job of building a solid team that can beat any team on the continent."

Although Sundowns have qualified for the group stages of the competition for the last four seasons, the teams have not been paired against each other until now.

After finishing second in Group A, the Brazilians were drawn on Wednesday to face the Red Devils in Cairo. The first-leg will be in Pretoria on the weekend of April 5.

The last time Al Ahly faced an opponent from SA was against Orlando Pirates in
the semifinal of the CAF Confederation Cup, where Bucs won 5-3 win on aggregate in 2015.

Downs will be eager to get their own scalp over the revered Egyptian side.

Nyandoro has warned though that the North Africans remain one of the best teams on the continent.

"Obviously, we know how strong they are and just how dominant they can be,"
he said.

"When people talk about the best teams in Africa the name Al Ahly is there on top."

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