South-Africa

Sundowns eager to hold off Al Ahly on Egyptian soil

2019-04-12 14:35
Mamelodi Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Al Ahly have the football equivalent of Mount Everest to climb when they take on Mamelodi Sundowns in Saturday's CAF Champions League quarter-final second leg tie at the Egyptian Army Stadium.

The Egyptian giants were absolutely massacred 5-0 in the first leg last weekend by the Brazilians in Pretoria and face a massive task in trying to overcome the scoreline.

In addition, fatigue may play a role for the hosts as following last Saturday's trouncing at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, they played a league match on Wednesday - beating Misr Lel Makasa 2-1 in the Egyptian top flight.

Nonetheless, there has been some controversy going into the fixture as the venue was changed at the last minute from the Suez Stadium to the current venue in Alexandria.

Despite it seemingly being against CAF regulations - the switch was allowed to take place. It is unclear at this stage why the change was necessary and for what reasons.

With that said, Club of the Century coach Martin Lasarte has vowed that his players will give every ounce of effort, saying: "I promise that every player in the team will give his best and I will do everything to compensate for the harsh result of the previous match.

"I will speak with the utmost sincerity with the Al Ahly supporters. I ask them to trust us, because we will not let them down in anymore. And we will do whatever we can to correct our image."

Meanwhile, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says his side won't be complacent despite having such a healthy advantage.

'Jingles' told reporters: "I hope we keep our integrity. I hope we keep the result. I hope we protect the big work we have done. We don't have a guarantee, but it's all in the mind."

In team news, the home side could make some changes from the team that won on Wednesday night domestically. For Downs - Anthony Laffor did not travel due to a knee injury though Sibusiso Vilakazi could make his second appearance since returning from an Achilles tear.

Kickoff is 18:00 in the Mediterranean port city.

 

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