Masandawana Secure AFL Final Spot After Draw In Cairo

Mamelodi Sundowns secured their position in the first-ever CAF African Football League (AFL) final after defeating Egyptian rivals Al Ahly with a 1-0 aggregate scoreline over two legs. Masandawana were pushed all the way by a resilient Red Devils outfit, however the team from Mamelodi remained resolute and got the job done.

Despite no goals in the 90 minutes, the game kicked off at a frantic pace, with the home side showing attacking intent and testing the Masandawana defence at every opportunity. Former Downs star Percy Tau was first to threaten, as he had a header saved by goalkeeper Ronwen Wiliams at the near post.

Tau and Williams would be at the center of the action a few minutes later as the two Bafana Bafana internationals collided in the box, with the referee awarding a penalty to the team in red. After a lengthy delay, Ali Maaloul stepped up to the spot and saw his penalty saved by the heroic Williams – who was making is second AFL penalty save.

After the high-paced start to the match, it was the away side who began to show a bit of control, as they strung together passes and looked to move up the field. Uruguayan forward Gaston Sirino had an attempt at goal saved by Egyptian shot-stopper Mohamed El-Shenawy.

At the other end of the pitch The Brazilians faced a scare as confusion in the box lead to Adbelmounaim Boutouil unknowingly making a goal line save, before Grant Kekana cleared away. The away side remained solid and went into the break on level terms on the night.

The second half saw Bongani Zungu introduced into the fray in place of Mothobi Mvala, who picked up a booking in the first half. 

Al Ahly would up the ante in attack and look to push on, but were met by a dogged Ka Bo Yellow side at every attempt. The second half saw fewer chances than the first, but both sides essentially nullifying one another in pursuit of a place in the showpiece final.

The biggest flashpoint in the second 45 came when Argentine substitute Junior Mendieta was shown a straight red card for a tackle deemed high by the referee, reducing Sundowns to 10 men for the last 5 minutes plus additional time.

Williams was called into action one final time as he claimed the long range shot that came in from the edge of the box. 

Downs would hold on through a lengthy 7 minutes of added time to see out the result and claim a spot in the inaugural AFL finals against Moroccan foes Wydad Casablanca. The spectacle final will take place over two legs, with the first leg commencing on Sunday 5 November and the second leg culminating on the 11th of November.

How we lined up: Williams, Mudau, Coetzee, Kekana, Mvala, Boutouil, Allende, Modiba, Zwane, Sirino, Maseko 


Subs: D. Onyango, De Reuck, Lebusa, B, Onyango, Nku, Zungu, Mashego, Mendieta, Mkhulise, Mabena, Maema, Maboe

8 Responses
  1. Muzi Kunene

    What a performance from our boys I salute them together with the technical staff but I’m worried about Zwane not that I hate him the guy is tired and age is not on his side how about he starts the match on the bench my lovely coach,Modiba today you’re on fire boy ngathi uzoba our general in the middle of the park bewubaba Mfanakithi.
    Lastly coach tell yo goalkeeper to stop this thing of backpasses with his defenders its boring and dangerous. Kby forever

  2. Mfana

    A great result but strangely the VAR team was trying by all means to award AL Ahly everything that comes close to a penalty even reviewing something that was clearly outside the box.If they were so sober about reviewing what stopped them from reviewing a possible penalty by AL Ahly goalkeeper?A near scare of a lunge by Mvala on the foot of an opponent,the question Rhulani why don’t u listen to advice really putting Mvala on the middle of the park it seemed as if Sundowns was playing with 10 men.Again the level of red cards &yellow cards leaves a lot to b desired no wonder Sundowns have so many injuries at training.Rhulani call your players into order regarding this matter.Otherwise congratulations my coach for advancing to the finals may God bless u &bring glory back home in you we believe.We can do this,together with our spirits and hope God loves us all

    1. Dalom

      I beg to differ Mfana. Mvala played really well in that holding position, he played much better than Bongani Zungu. The only problem with Mvala is his timing, once he decides to go out on a tackle he doesn’t pull out. None of our substitutes came in and really asserted themselves. The boyz really played well after their nerves settled down and I believe the substitutes were also nervous when they came in. Modiba was a standout player in that midfield. I was a bit disappointed by Sirino and Zwane, they were losing too many balls cheaply. Mendieta needs to calm down, he’s trying too much to impress the technical team. He needs to play his normal game and everything will fall into place. Well done to the team, we’re now getting used to playing under pressure.

  3. Ronnie Bothma

    What a performance….I salute 🫡 too…Modiba really played well…Ronwen too….albeit a few mistakes…I don’t want to talk about Mudau…I’ve said too much….honestly all the players put in a great shift….I have no respect for AL ahly…forever trying to influence games by intimidating refs…ag man…it’s really stale now….but anyway…just want to thank Rhulani and the technical team…you guys are great…Rhulani needs to be given the respect that he deserves…

    1. Dalom

      Riva also played his heart out. I wonder where he would be if it were not for his injuries. He makes football look so simple. I’m hoping and praying that he doesn’t get any injuries.


    Well done boys you did it against all odds,the only thing which is gonna make us loose more trophies is is Rulani’s love for Mvala,the boy is a hard worker but he lacks timing he is forever reckless,we started to play we after the introduction of Zungu we were calm in the middle.Zwane was for team Ahly he was constantly giving the ball to their players whenever in possession and we started to move forward with purpose after he was substituted.We need to play smart when playing away by playing direct football and stop this thing of playing from the back,we nearly gifted Ahly the goals they did not work for.Great salute to Kekana,Riva,Mudau,Boutouil,Madiba and Maseko.We were very much solid at the back,Modiba pulled the strings in the middle and Maseko was giving their defense a sleepless time alone.But come next game Kekana will be on the bench and Mvala in the starting 11 hence,i always say Rulani says he is lucky to work with group of honest players yet he is not honest with some of them.Players like Allende will be played out wide where he is not effective when we all saw where is good when we played Galaxy.Serinoh is good when coming as a reserve he really can’t play a head of Mendieta.Let us work towards taking the brand SUNDOWNS to the level where no team in Southern Africa would reach.

  5. Makhosonke

    Yellow nation I think the is nothing wrong with Zwane and his age, lot of teams when they know they will be playing against Sundowns, they plan for Zwane as to how they will stop him, lot they want to deal with Mshishi because they see he is Sundowns… Sirino will come back to his level but how I wish now he must be first introduce as a sub…. Maseko is a good player but he must know that he is a team player… Mvala is everything is a good player and a bad player… Mvala is Mvala he can save you and also can kill you… Otherwise sundowns is best we need Man City now Mr Chair

  6. Zipho

    @Dalom Mvala “played better” than Zungu??? Haibo which game were u watching? Zungu stabilized our midfield when he came on,and his passes were always accurate