Downs go down fighting

Mamelodi Sundowns were knocked out of the 2019/2020 CAF Champions League after their draw against Egyptian giants Al Ahly SC saw them lose 1-3 on aggregate on Saturday afternoon.

Themba Zwane had the first attempt of the game for The Brazilians, firing a long-range effort over the bar as Downs looked to begin the game on the front foot.

The Brazilians continued their positive start and continued to create chances; Ricardo Nascimento  was played in by Gaston Sirino from a free-kick, however the Brazilian saw his attempt saved from point-blank range by Mohamed El-Shenawy in goals.

The visitors took the lead after twenty-one minutes, Ali Maâloul’s free-kick was met by Lebohang Maboe whose attempted clearance diverted the ball past Denis Onyango in goals. Downs did not allow the goal to affect their momentum and five minutes later found the equaliser when Sirino tapped home a rebound from an El-Shenawy save.

The two sides went into the half-time break even with Downs still requiring three goals to progress.

The second half began in a similar vain to the first, with Downs controlling possession and looking the more dangerous side in attack. Coach Pitso Mosimane rolled the dice and brought on Tebogo Langerman followed shortly by Phakamani Mahlambi as he looked to find a way back into the tie.

Downs continued to create chances but were unable to add the finishing touch. Zwane came closest in the second half, his powerful shot from distance had El-Shenawy at full stretch to make the save.

Downs threw everything at their opponents but it was not to be as the result saw them exit the CAF Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

Mamelodi Sundowns (26’ Sirino) 1-1 Al Ahly SC (21’ Maboe O.G.)

24 Responses
  1. Lamamelodi

    I said it last time after suffering 2-0 in Cairo that Downs family should not despair. Being booted out of the CAF should not kill the team’s momentum, instead should be treated as a blessing in disguise for the team to focus on Nedbank. If we can win Nedbank cup, plus the Telkom that we already have on our cabinet, that will still make a good achivement for the season.Even winning the league does not seem possible, truth be told. Focus should be on Nedbank.

  2. Malefetsane

    I can’t believe that I am saying this, but it looks like this may be the right time for coach Pitso to take that sabbatical. Our coach knows and loves football, but his downfall is this misguided loyalty and bias he has for certain players. Granted, Maboe is a good player, he’s just not on form right now.

    Our coach, much as we love him, is letting himself and the entire Sundowns family down. His weakness is not lack of tactical aptitude, but the favouritism that he has, which clearly kills the team. For how long now are we going to just be happy with being knocked out of the quarter finals? Coach Pitso has done for Sundowns what no other coach has achieved in this team, however, that doesn’t mean we should keep quiet even where we can clearly see blatant lapses in judgement. If Sundowns extend the coach’s contract, there should be a clause that deals particularly with the coach’s blatant bias

  3. Dalom

    Hard luck boyz. We’re still very much proud of you. AmaZulu has just done a great favour, now let’s go and make these Zebbies breath through the wound. They were laughing us after being booted out of the CCL

  4. Duncan Hlengwa

    Eish this thing of selling ticket on small container is really killing the Mamelodi Sundowns brand.Untile we witness a stampede then maybe the management will start to act on this matter.
    It was very sad to be there on the que early round about 13h45 and people just came and really pushed us until my Tablet was broken into pieces.

    It was very scary to be squeezed in those pillars.

    Can someone please take this issue up before people died maybe avail ticket from ticket pro at least.

  5. Duncan Hlengwa

    Hard luck to the team next time but the game was lost in Egypt to be honest.It was not gonna be easy against those time wasting strategy.Lets try by all means to focus on our next game and leave this one behind.

  6. zweyi

    We have not replace Khama and Tau with quality players to compete in Africa. we may compete locally but not in Africa . we need young good midfielder and a striker not midfielders

  7. Mzimela

    Pitso must blameb himself about Maboe that player been out of form since season start i wash my hand during the week coach praise Maboe when line included i said amen is over to Sundowns CAF

  8. muzi kunene

    I’m sorry to say this but I wish Maboe to get a serious injury and I know he’s not fielding himself but the coach.
    That boy is not giving us anything good since last season and what I’ve noticed we don’t have plan B even We are trailing behind we continue with slow build up with no sense of urgency. We can celebrate that Chiefs lost but the big question is are we going to close the gap with those same line up week in and week out.
    I wish our Management must put on Pitso’s clause on new contract that all players we have on Downs must play failing to do that He must go and Pitso think he is irreplaceable at Downs of which is totally wrong,Kby forever

  9. Skhumba

    I am very sorry to say something that is negative against our coach guys! I concur with most of the guys that have commented. Pitso fell by his own sword! How on earth does he justify to start with Maboe considering the poor form that this boy displays every game that he has played recently. The game was not lost in Cairo but here in Pretoria. the moment we conceded an own goal, it was done and dusted. I dont hate Maboe at all, he makes his contribution as any other player does but he is struggling with game of late. At one point he did explain himself that he owes his poor form to fatigue because he thinks he has played too many games since last year. But Pitso choose to ignore this and play the boy in spite of his poor form as if they are no other capable players in the squad. Pisto has done well for the team but at times he things he knows it all and that is his biggest down fall. We may struggle to win the CAF champions league cup again as long as he is in charge. If you look at teams like Al Ahly, Esperance, Zameleck etc (the North Africans) they spend a lot of money on recruiting quality players and coaches and they usually assess themselves with their performances in the CAF competitions. They always dominate their local leagues but for the coach to survive he needs to perform at the highest level, which in this case is the CAF competitions. Even if Pitso can go to the North African clubs believe you me he wont last more than one season. As for me our coach struggles to play with a natural centre forward and this has affected the team negatively especially against the usually suspects, that is the North African champions. I hope the team regroups to win the league /Nedbank or both but i am not convinced that we can achieve this especially the way the team is structured at times. More over Serieno will go on suspension very soon and believe you me, he has been our best creative player. As for Pitso there is no where to hide! The CAF competition is gone, he has to perform with his favourate players in the remaining domestic competitions

  10. Ronnie Bothma

    Guys I think you a little too harsh on both Maboe and Pitso. I hope you not suggesting Maboe scored an “own goal” cause he’s off form. Anyone in the 18 area can score an own goal trying to clear ball. Secondly you cannot buy form, you need to be played into form as Vila did. I think Sundowns needs to take a sabbatical from CAF competitions. Not boycott the tournament but use fringe players without worrying about being knocked out. It’s been too much for the players in the past 5 years. The CAF champions league is even more difficult than European champions league. Africa is big and not easy to navigate as you need to go via other countries. In Europe flying a distance from Jo-burg to Durban you in another country. From Jo-burg to Bloem you in another country, so do the math… The league is still on!

    1. Lamamelodi

      I think I agree with you supporter. I read most of the comments above and I just feel like Maboe has been crucified for an honest human-error-mistake. I do not defend the fact that he (Maboe) might be off-form recently but crucifying him for giving an on-goal is just not sporty for me. Please Downs family, let refrain from destroying our own players. Even most reliable defenders sometimes do commit such deadly mistakes in very big tournaments around the world. But for me I was impressed by the team for not letting Maboe’s own goal to kill their momentum and moral. That for me was a good indication of professionalism from the players themselves and coaching staff

  11. Boh

    Ronnie I’m not fighting with you.. are you admitting that we not yet at the LEVEL of Al Ahly/Zamalek/ Raja/Mazembe… the list is endless…angazi I lack understanding of ur statement.. Why I say this member.. THIS ARE THE BIG BOY’S,THE WORD SABATICAL IS NEVER IN THEIR DICTIONARY.. as our Coach called them BIG BOY’S…if we loss the league three times, what do we do, there is no SABATICAL there we have to try again… SUNDOWNS TECHNICAL TEAM, THIS DAYS LACK VISION,WE SHOULD PLAN TO STAY THERE FIRST,THEN GET USED TO WIN GAMES..ITS ALL THAT WE NEED,ITS CALLED PLANNING… HOW BY BUYING PLAYERS ON OUR LEVEL..SO WE CAN COMPETE WITH BIG BOY’S..WHY ON EARTH, SUNDOWNS WANT TO SIGN…KApinga/Maluleka/not to mention players sitting on the stands… You don’t need to be a magician to know,we need OFORI..he is available.. what are we waiting for..we only have one goalkeeper… KApinga is not a nessesity at Sundowns,we have youngsters to be members… I can’t say too much,such I don’t know who is making this calls.. question Randell/Manqoba..are they really having freedom to take decisions..or they are there to support.. I’m saying this, because only our team can afford to pay, players who does not contribute anything for years..ask Bangally/Mahomi/Riyad/Manyisa/and many more…are this guy’s accounted for.. agreement in their contract..

    1. Ronnie Bothma

      I get you bro. But same applies for Esperance, AL ahly, Raja etc. They all up there so it’s a mini Europe. They only come down here once to play Sundowns. Sundowns has to go there 3 times. They don’t don’t go through all the logistics we have to go through. That’s more taxing on the team than the actual games. As for players not used, you cannot have just 11 players and therefore some players won’t get a chance to play. All teams have that. Some teams have more players than Sundowns. The difference is that at Sundowns we have household names and when they don’t play it looks worse. I think Ofori will a great addition no doubt, even if it means breaking the bank, and maybe a forceful striker like Erasmus. Personally I’m very happy with the team and what they achieved in past 5 years or so. Shout out to Jali, he’s been unbelievable!!!

  12. Malefetsane

    Lamamelodi and Ronnie, for me it’s not even about the own goal. That’s a mistake that can be made by anyone. My problem is not even with Maboe because he didn’t field himself. The coach is my problem – he should have known better. Look guys, the days when we become happy that we have been part of the competition, any competition, must come to an end.

    Why do we buy all these players if they will sit on the stands and not get a chance? Do you remember that we were lied to at some point and told Brokie was injured? Tade, who was a prolific striker, ended up asking for a clearance. Our coach will then want to convince us that the North African teams are competitive because they have bigger budgets. When you search Africa’s richest teams, Sundowns is up there with the rest of them.

    Our coach just needs to change his attitude. He is gifted and quite skilful, however, that means nothing if we will be booted out of competitions so easily. By the way, I am coach Pitso’s biggest fan, but our coach must change his biased tendencies.

    1. Ronnie Bothma

      I understand you frustrations bro. We used to buy lots of players even before Pitso came. But we couldn’t even win the league. It was just a mess. We haven’t been so consistent as a team ever. Sustained consistency that is. I know we won 3 league titles in a row in late 90s. Man city have been buying top players for years now but still no championships league. PSG etc. It takes all the right ingredients to win this thing. Let’s be greatful to be associated with this brand. Some supporters are not this lucky. We’ve won everything as Mamelodi Sundowns.

  13. Mzimela

    this is not about own goal not about hatred Maboe just totally out of form he doesn deserve to be startind xi

  14. BOH

    Malefestane/Mzimela… members I totally agree with you..we do appreciate what Players like Maboe/Villa and others can do.or done.. guy’s I took a bus to Pretoria.. Bafwethu tickets the container by the community hall.. I bought my ticket from Durban thanks God..back to my team members are right where Sundowns are, can’t celebrate that we always play Champions league.. competent players, false no 9 works sometimes,but we must have plan b.. I felt sorry for Meza/MAHLAMBI.. listen u can’t put a player on the bench..and expect him to rise to the the highest level…. Masandawana sekwenzakele let’s move on.. I don’t like the way COACH PISTO’S contract issue is handled.. Why it has to be on the media… this is not right..??? still phezulu

  15. The Nash

    I consistently said that Pitso from his first season never had a good defensive game what he had was a good attacking game but relied on individual brilliance of some players. Remember in his 1st season our best player was the player from Free State Stars and scored most of the goals but Mweene & the defence conceeded in 90% of games and our season was saved by Laffor when things were going south. To this day Downs never has clean sheets more than other teams. Remember in 2019/2020 edition of the MTN against Supersport we had an away goal but in the second leg we could have applied the defensive game & be compact but we lost, so in Cairo when I saw the starting eleven I knew that it was an attempt at the defensive game but as always Pitso fails at it time & time again. Not to mention the other problems mentioned by other members like favouritism, playing the same way against Mavarara FC & Pirates FC with no visible plan B, C & D, buying players only to sit on the stands I suspect he’s getting kick-backs for bringing players to Downs, having a player doing well & all of the sudden he’s not even on the bench but the grandstand, not giving other players a fair chance and all of a sudden throw him in the big game only for the player to fail, you remember in the first round we won at Black Leopards with one of the goals from Meza’s square ball & it was a solo effort after he received the ball until he release it but what happened since then Meza is nowhere to be seen until against Al Ahly the same can be said by Mahlambi. I was one of the few who rejected outright playing Rivaldo ahead of Jali in midfield and now is a darling & even has a goal and couple assists in his name. Lastly I don’t like the way Pitso is handling this contract issue. Why it has to be on the media… this is not right BOH ke laka leo.

  16. Malefetsane

    On the other matter: Sundowns should stop this nonsense of holding out on signing coach Pitso’s contract. This is not on, totally. This matter must be finalized urgently so that there can be stability in the team.

    Mr. Motsepe, I think it’s time that you intervened Sir, I believe this is really getting out of hand. Coach Pitso is a human being guys – can you just treat him as such. The fact that there’s no coach, in the history of the club, who has delivered for Sundowns what he has done for us means that for you, Sundowns Management, to sign the contract should not be such a headache.

    Management, please guys, sort this thing out. Would have behaved the same way if Pitso was White, Coloured or Indian? We as supporters can be critical of his decisions sometimes, but that’s not an indication of loss of confidence in him – there can never be anyone better than him. Stop fooling yourselves guys, we need coach Pitso

  17. The Nash

    Lately in the media Pitso is saying Downs signed three players but we have seen this movie before and I suspect they are going to sit not on the bench, but the grand stand, some will never kick a ball for the entire contract period, this signing of players is suspect in my opinion. My wish is Pitso go and we give Manqoba a chance otherwise get Tinkler. Pitso has done well with Downs but I think he should leave when he’s still on top.

  18. The Nash

    With the two critical upcoming games between Downs and Pirates (& Chiefs) these too Pitso is going to flop. These are the types of games that makes Pitso more nervous, stubborn & makes excuses and more often makes mistakes & bad call/plans. There will be wrong players selected most probably his favourites players will be on the starting lineup, same strategy used when playing Stellenbosch & Highlands, no team work, no visible plan A, B & C, bad & ineffective substitutions. I will concede that if the selected players on the day, don’t come to the party & show up or make costly mistakes, I will not blame Pitso for them. Tinkler is way better preparing for games of this magnitude, you can visibly see team work, motivation of the players, fighting spirit of the players and proper strategy for the game and players fighting to the end (leaving everything on the pitch). In Tinkler’s team he’s having a defender who is consistently perfoming & wining man of the match.

  19. Bango

    We all hoped the team would go through to the next round, it wasn’t meant to be. All the teams that topped the groups are out, all big brands lost. The matches were won on the first leg. Congratulations to the teams that proceeded to the next level. Tough luck to those that were knocked out. l will be such an unrealistic and selfish supporter if l can begin to chop my team. We win as a team and lose as a team, together and everything that bears Sundowns, it becomes a problem when the team lose and supporters remain winning, by not accepting the defeat we are just hurting ourselves, we thought the game would favor us but it did not happen. Because we lost now the house must be on fire?Because things did not favor me, dogs and chickens must feel it, No! It ought not to be so, that kind of support is dangerous to one self. While we all know losing has its own challenges and frustrations , we can avoid categorical statements, and individual attacks and encourage our own.We can not dwell on the past,our future is not in the past. We rather focus on what is at stake ,focus on what can be played for, giving our supportive suggestions without attacking anybody.It is possible to speak out your opinion without infringing on anyone’s way. My duty as a supporter is to give support, cheer up the guys, encourage them all when they are down, pick them up and leave them to a position of advantage where they can rediscover themselves to my advantage. To attack someone who is down already is being unfair.Let us support our team, in good space and in bad patches. We compliment one another and not compete with one another. We all love Sundowns,we are prepared to fight for it not to fight it. its football! KBY

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