ZAMALEK vs MAMELODI SUNDOWNS
1 – 2
(HT 1 – 1)
2016/07/17 CAF Champions League
Mohamed Ibrahim 37′
S. Mabunda 18′
K. Billiat 67′
ZAMALEK 1-2 MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: BRAZILIANS TAKE CONTROL OF GROUP B
Goals from Khama Billiat and Tiyani Mabunda steered the Brazilians to a vital 2016 Caf Champions League win at the Petro Sport Stadium in Cairo on Sunday evening
With only 5000 Zamalek fans in attendance, Sundowns settled quickly with Anthony Laffor enjoying a lively start to the encounter.
The Liberian, like his ‘Downs teammates would’ve been boosted by the restrictions imposed on the home team, with Hlompho Kekana forcing Ahmed El-Shenawy into a good save. The Bafana Bafana midfielder unleashed a trademark bullet from range nine minutes into the game.
Wayne Arendse, who had been flawless throughout the campaign, almost cost his team following a mistake at the back. Denis Onyango came to his rescue before Ayman Hefny saw his resulting shot sail over the crossbar.
Mabunda opened the scoring for the visitors on 18 minutes. Sugar would have been disappointed that his stunning goal against ES Setif was chalked off after they were booted out of the competition, but that was soon forgotten as he found the back of the net in the Egyptian capital.
Billiat was unlucky to see his attempt from a tight angle canon off the crossbar, but Mabunda was quick to pounce – striking a low effort past the outstretched Zamalek goal-minder.
Sundowns implemented a high line from the get go, but the tactic along with poor communication between Onyango and Thabo Nthethe cost them dearly on 37 minutes as the White Knights leveled matters.
Mohamed Ibrahim took full advantage, poking past the on rushing Ugandan, who replaced Wayne Sandilands in the Sundowns goal.
Ibrahim’s night turned from pure ecstasy to agony seven minutes into the second half as he suffered what looked to be a broken leg.
This seemed to effect the game as both Zamalek and Sundowns struggled to find their range for a few minutes.
But, Billiat and Leanardo Castro soon helped Sundowns back into gear, with the latter unlucky to see his acrobatic effort canon off the woodwork, before the PSL Footballer of the Season restored ‘Downs lead.
For the umpteenth time this year, Keagan Dolly picked out the Zimbabwean who’s left-footed shot had the beating of the Egyptian shot stopper on 67 minutes.
Zamalek pressed forward in search of the equaliser with Onyango forced into a good save to deny second-half substitute Mostafa Fathi 10 minutes later.
In the end, Sundowns managed to hold firm as they moved three points clear atop Group B after two rounds of fixtures. They next welcome the five-time Caf Champions League champions to the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on the 27th of July.