Mamelodi Sundowns welcome Sudanese Al Hilal Omdurman in their CAF Champions League group stage clash on home ground with both clubs vying for maximum points in Group B. The Brazilians defeated the Sudanese side twice in their group A meeting last season, Downs won 1-0 at home and 4-2 at Al Hilal Stadium.
Bafana ba Style are in fine form with a fifteen successive win in the DStv Premiership as they head into this battle in front of their supporters at Loftus Versfeld. On the other hand, the visitors will be no pushovers after Hilal’s impressive winning record in the Sudan Premier League, the North-Eastern side have a record of 3 wins from their last 5 games and 2 draws..
A thrilling 3-3 encounter awaits as the South African Champions continue their journey to earn their second star since conquering the continent back in 2016. Downs have faced a series of misfortunes, being knocked out in the quarter-final in the last two editions and this season they will be looking to compete in a tough group which includes Egyptian giants Al Ahly SC, Al Hilal and Coton Sport from Cameroon.
Who are “The Blue Wave” ?
known as Al Hilal Omdurman or simply Al Hilal, is a Sudanese football club based in Omdurman that competes in the Sudan Premier League. The home ground is situated at Omdurman, Khartoum State, Sudan. The stadium is a multi-purpose facility that is mostly used for football matches and is also used for athletics and has a capacity of 25 000.
Florent Ibengé became the head coach of Al-Hilal Omdurman in June 2022. The 62-year-old man in charge is a Congolese football coach and former player. Ibengé managed the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua from April to May 2012, and Congolese team Vita Club from February 2014. The former Congolese player led his countrymen to the 2016 African Nations Championship title in February 2016.
Players to lookout for:
Malawian attacker Gerald Phiri has played in a number of the side’s Premier Soccer League during his stay in South Africa. Phiri is a versatile player and a first-choice for the Malawi national squad and has experience playing in the Africa Cup of Nations. The domestic league log leaders consists of players that mostly play for the national team of Sudan and form part of the AFCON Squad. The goalkeeping department consists of Mohamed Alnour Adam Saeed, Ali Abdallah, Mohamed Outtara, Makabi Lilepo as well as Mohamed Abdelrahman Yousif Yagoub who plays as a forward for Al-Hilal and the Sudan national football team.
The Sudanese side came into the encounter having played17 matches in the Sudan Premier League, 14 wins, 2 draws and only 1 game lost. Their last encounter was on the 8th of January when they defeated Al-Ahly Merowe 2-0 in the league.