PRETORIA – Mamelodi Sundowns have one foot in the semifinals of the CAF Champions League, after thrashing Egyptian giants Al Ahly 5-0 in their quarterfinal first leg match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville near Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
The Egyptians are tough to beat at home in Cairo but have been left with a proverbial mountain to climb when the teams meet in the return leg next Saturday.
It took Sundowns just 14 minutes to unlock the Al Ahly defence, with fullback Tebogo Langerman set free on the left flank, who then picked out midfielder Themba Zwane to open the scoring.
The hosts doubled the lead ten minutes later when central defender Wayne Arendse side-footed the ball home from a set-piece taken by midfielder Uruguayan Gaston Sirino.
Any hopes that the 8-time CAF Champions League winners had of getting back into the game in the second half were dashed two minutes after the break, after Lebogang Maboe was fouled in the visitors' penalty area.
Sundowns central defender Ricardo Nascimento slotted home from the penalty spot.
In the 61st minute, Al Ahly's nightmare went to a new level, when a shot on target from Maboe fell to Langerman, who unselfishly played the ball to Sirino to add the fourth goal of the game.
With eight minutes remaining, Sundowns scored their fifth goal with second-half substitute Phakamani Mahlambi, netting against his former club.
Midfielder Thapelo Morena was instrumental in the build-up on the counter-attack, before sending a pass across the box for Mahlambi to latch on to and slot home well wide of Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.
African News Agency (ANA)