Sundowns' big chance to floor Al Ahly

Sundowns will be hoping Anele Ngcongca is fit for the return match against Al Ahly on Saturday. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Sundowns will be hoping Anele Ngcongca is fit for the return match against Al Ahly on Saturday. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Image: Gavin Barker / BackpagePix

Egyptian giants Al Ahly maybe a force in African football, but SA hasn't been their happy hunting ground, having never beaten any local club on home soil.

This should serve as a huge stimulation for Mamelodi Sundowns when the two sides lock horns in the return leg of the CAF Champions League quarterfinals at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday (3pm). The first leg ended 2-0 in favour of Al Ahly in Cairo at the weekend.

To progress to the semifinals, the Brazilians need to score at least three goals and keep a clean sheet. Ahly, the continent's club of the century, have played nine Champions League games against SA teams, losing three with six draws.

Ahly and Sundowns have met three times in SA. The first meeting ended 1-1, in the first leg of the 2001 Champions League final. Six years later, Sundowns held Al Ahly to a 1-1 stalemate in the tournament's second round.

Last year, the Tshwane heavyweights handed the Egyptians their biggest defeat in Africa's premier club competition, beating them 5-0 on home turf.

Other defeats for Ahly in SA came in 2008 and 2011 against the now-defunct Platinum Stars (2-1) and SuperSport United (1-0) in the second round of the Champions League.

In 2013, Orlando Pirates refused to be beaten by the Red Devils of Egypt in their backyard, holding them to draws in the group stages and in the first leg of the final.

On Saturday, Downs will also be banking on their 100% home record in the competition this season. The Pitso Mosimane-coached side have won all four of their Champions League games in Pretoria this term.

Meanwhile, Mosimane is crossing his fingers that his experienced right-back Anele Ngcongca will feature in the second leg after missing the match in Cairo through a groin strain.

"Anele started to train [last Thursday]. You can see he's not there [yet] but we hope to have him back at home," said Mosimane after the game in Cairo.

In Ngcongca's absence, centre-back Motjeka Madisha was shifted to right-back as Ricardo Nascimento partnered with Wayne Arendse at the heart of defence, while Mosa Lebusa operated at left-back

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