With huge lead against Al Ahly‚ Sundowns eye Wydad and the final

Image: Gavin Barker/ BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns’ five-goal lead for Saturday’s return leg of their African Champions League quarterfinal tie against Al Ahly in Egypt means they can cast an eye further ahead to the run-in to the final.

It would be a biggest comeback in the history of African club competition were Ahly to turn around the tie and edge Sundowns out of a semifinal place.

The odds on that happening are long and Sundowns will feel well within their rights to continue planning for the rest of the competition‚ which is likely to include another meeting with Wydad Casablanca in the semifinals.

It will be seventh and eighth meeting in just three years against the Moroccan clubs‚ who hold the upper hand in past clashes with Pitso Mosimane’s men.

Wydad knocked Sundowns out at the quarterfinal stage when the Brazilians were defending their crown in 2017 and last year the two were in the same group where Sundowns did not finish in the top two and advance to the last eight‚ but Wydad did.

They also shared the same group in this current edition with Wydad narrowly edging Sundowns to top place in the standings.

According to the draw‚ made at the Confederation of African Football (Caf) headquarters in Cairo last month‚ the winner of the quarterfinal tie between Horoya of Guinea and Wydad hosts the first leg of the semifinal against either Al Ahly or Sundowns.

Wydad drew 0-0 away against Horoya in Conakry last Saturday and will be fancied to go through and meet Sundowns in Morocco on either April 26 or 27 with the return leg in Pretoria on May 3 or 4.

Sundowns were there at the end of last month and lost 1-0.

Should Sundowns advance to the final they will host the first leg on May 24 with the return away‚ as was the case when they played in the 2016 final‚ on May 31.

That opponent is likely to be holders Esperance of Tunisia or TP Mazembe Englebert from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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