In a phenomenal game at the Cairo International Stadium will live long Masandawana’s historical winning in the Champions League after The Brazilians five successive defeats in Egypt. A great amount of enthusiasm was shown from each side right from the beginning, with both sides getting a feel for the tempo and looking to create goal scoring chances as early as possible.
The first real opportunity of this eagerly anticipated encounter came the way of Downs, with Themba Zwane, Peter Shalulile and Teboho Mokoena charging forward in attack. Shalulile’s cut back to Mokoena found the midfielder but not in the perfect positioning to connect well with the ball. Moments later, Khuliso Mudau tried to link up with Mokoena but this time the pass overpowered the midfielder.
Bafana Ba Style’s goalie Kennedy Mweene was forced into his first save of the match as he kept out Hamdi Fathi’s header which also took a deflection from Brian Onyango. The Egyptian Red Devils were looking confident with each passing minute trying to unlock Masandawana’s defense and just over thirty minutes had been played with the scores still deadlocked.
Aliou Dieng took a chance outside the box for the Egyptians and it looked like a goalscoring opportunity for the home team, but his efforts went over the goalposts. Ali Maaloul pressured the defense just outside Downs’ box and the Tunisian’s cross in the box was met by Mweene with a punch to clear the ball out of danger. Just before the interval the hostd again went close, with an effort from Maaloul that would have been a goal but it was well saved again by the Zambian international who stood his ground.
Both teams came out fighting in the second half and Mweene was forced to make an early save in the half, Maaloul charged a dangerous run down the wing, putting a ball into the box but again the Zambian made no mistake in clearing the danger.
Sundowns were soon provided with a break to test Mohamed El Shenawy with a set piece a little outside the 18 area box, freekick specialist Lyle Lakay and Mokoena stepped up to take the responsibility, ultimately Mokoena’s shot was on target but cleared by the experienced goalkeeper. Masandawana’s forward players were a constant danger looking to open the scoring, this time it was Shalulile who combined well with Mokoena and Haashim Domingo who had just been subed on for Andile Jali. At the other end of the field, the Red Devils were finally finding spaces as Downs started to defend deep in their own half forcing Mweene to make some good saves.
The Brazilians we’re just as eager to find the back of the net with their high pressing attacks which eventually paid off, Thapelo Morena fired one home for Masandawana after Ahly’s mix up in defense. The Egyptians tried to find the equaliser right away but were denied by Mweene who pushed it out wide and kept the home team to chase the game until the final whistle. A big save in the final moment of the second half secured victory for the South African League Champions.
This is how we lined up:
K. Mweene , B. Ralani (66′ Modiba), L. Lakay, B. Onyango, R. De Reuck, A. Jali © (54′ Domingo), T. Mokoena (66′ Mvala), R. Coetzee, K. Mudau, T. Zwane (80′ Morena), P. Shalulile
R. Pieterse, A. Modiba, T. Morena, M. Mvala, N. Maema, G. Kekana, L. Kapinga, H. Domingo, K. Erasmus.