Brazilians Earn Point At Al Salam Stadium In Intense Affair

Mamelodi Sundowns secured a point in their second match of the CAF Champions League on Saturday, following a goalless draw with Al-Merrikh at the Al Salam Stadium.

There were two changes to the side that lined up in the domestic league competition on Monday, as Erwin Saavedra got his first start and Rivaldo Coetzee returned to the starting lineup. Masandawana tested the opposition first in the opening stages, Zwane saw his opportunity at goal stopped by Merrikh’s goalie Monged Abuzaid who got to the ball first.

A few moments later, Bradley Ralani’s split pass into the box perfectly connected with Peter Shalulile who was ready to convert before being called for offside. There was then great work by Bolivia international Saavedra to find Zwane and Shalulile inside the area, but the Red Devil’s defense cleared out the low cross. Bafana Ba Style enjoyed possession for much of the opening encounter in Cairo, rotating the ball in an attempt to find an early opener, Khuliso Mudau intercepted the ball in Merrikh’s half and went for goal, but his shot went high and over the goalposts.

Al Merrikh in turn sent a dangerous ball across the face off goal, only for Kenyan international Brian Onyango to clear the ball off the line and deny the hosts a lead in the afternoon’s affair. Shalulile’s golden opportunity at goal came after 30 minutes of a tussle with the defenders, but the Namibian international couldn’t get the decisive touch and the chance was gone. 

Downs made a forced substitution, Saavedra made his way off the pitch as Thabiso Kutumela was introduced to carry out the day’s task. The Limpopo international shortly made his presence felt as he attacked the ball and put a cross in the box, Shalulile was called offside again, giving the hosts an opportunity to attack. 

Tony Edjomariegwe curled a speculative effort wide of the far post of Denis Onyango, who had little action in the first half of this encounter. The teams went in level at the break.

Three minutes into the second half the Red Devils went for goal from range, Ramadan Agab fired a powerful low effort narrowly past the post, another opportunity followed shortly but no luck for the Sudanese team. Shalulile earned The Brazilians a set piece after being fouled, left footer Lyle Lakay stepped up to take the chance, but his effort was headed out by Merrikh’s defense. Onyango was kept on his toes with multiple clear cut chances for Al Merrikh surfaced, Edjomariegwe saw his initial shot defended away. 

The hosts nearly took the lead as the clock hit the hour mark, however Nigerian international Edjomariegwe’s goal was called for offside, a relief for Masandawana who had the most chances to lead the game. The battle continued end to end at times, but there was some great defending from both teams as they struggled to find a goal for their clubs. 

Downs eventually made substitutions, Bradley Ralani, Themba Zwane, Andile Jali and Rushine De Reuck, who encountered a head injury made way for Kermit Erasmus, Lesedi Kapinga, Grant Kekana and Teboho Mokoena.Deep in added time, Kapinga put in a superb cross into the box, Kutumela fired across goal from a tight angle and narrowly went wide off target.

Ultimately it ended in a stalemate at the Al Salam Stadium, neither team could break the deadlock, in a game where clear cut opportunities were at a premium, and the points were shared in Egypt.

This is how we lined up: 

  1. Onyango © , B. Ralani (63′ Erasmus), L. Lakay, B. Onyango, R. De Reuck (86′ Kekana,), A. Jali (86′ Mokoena), E. Saavedra (37′ Kutumela), R. Coetzee, K. Mudau, T. Zwane (86′ Kapinga), P. Shalulile.


  1. Mweene, A. Modiba, T. Morena, M. Mvala, T. Kutumela, N. Maema, G. Kekana, L. Kapinga, T. Mokoena.
9 Responses
  1. muzi kunene

    Let me voice my opinion on today’s match, I don’t think our Wisemen are good for Champs league they’re better here in PSL and if We want to win Champs league let’s have one head coach not this co coaches nton nton.
    Another one pls don’t crucify me on the following, how I wish Zwane and Jali they can get a serious injuries for few months just to out so that players like Kapinga and Mokoena they can start the game.I know they doesn’t select themselves but to our Wisemen they always start.
    Lastly our players they must released the ball fast to Peter before he becomes offside because we know he’s fast but they tend to hold on to the ball for too long,we can beat All Ahly only if Zwane and Jali starts from the bench and do substitutions early.

  2. Ronnie Bothma

    For the first time after the break we played the Sundowns way. But too many chances not taken. But the rhythm was there. Let’s beat Al Ahly

    1. Rendi

      Good game plan but substituting Themba and Jali very late killed us. Those Subs should have been done with 15 minutes left

  3. Dalom

    We really played well in the first half and we should’ve wrapped the game then. Ours boyz decision making in the final third is most of the times very poor. North African teams don’t waste a lot of chances like that, half a chance they bury it. That’s what separate us from them. I’m also worried by the number of injuries we’re getting lately, that surely will derail the team’s progress.

    1. Skhumba

      Peter Shalulile used to score a lot of goals when Maema was playing simply because he could spot hid runs and release the ball early enough for to attack the balls! Zwane and Ralani were holding the far too long before they could try to find Peter! Thus why he was being caught offside! Both Zwane and Ralani had a poor game but they were substituted late!

  4. Skhumba

    I also think our coaches are not at the level of CAF champions league!! I do not see them winning it at any given moment!! They are just good at the level of psl!

  5. Makhosonke

    I am also crying about Madau that guy doesn’t take the game serious he is just playing,his decisions so poor,he is over working himself unnecessary…if he could change his mind we can kill lot of teams…..Peter peter peter is disappointing he like to fall on ground unnecessary,they give him a ball first torch is down,maybe he got feets i dont know….ayikho Al ahly only name left let’s treat them like every team…then learn to shoot from outside the box cause they can park a bus

  6. Skhumba

    Our players do not shoot outside the box and this is going to be issue when comes to CAF competitions! Those marauding soldiers were shooting in sight of goal and that almost gave us a problem!

  7. Dima