Mission impossible! Al Ahly don't stand a chance against Mamelodi Sundowns

As determined as the Red Devils are in search of redemption, do they really stand a chance of overcoming the Tshwane giants in the return leg?

Fairy tales and stories of overcoming great odds are what make football the beautiful game, but it will take something rather catastrophic on Mamelodi Sundowns' part for Al Ahly to pull off the unthinkable.

Sundowns head into the return leg of the Caf Champions League quarter-final encounter against Al Ahly knowing firmly well that they are strong favourites with one foot in semi-finals.

This was not necessarily the case when both sides were pitted against each other not so long ago, but after a historic 5-0 demolition of the Caf African Club of the Century, it seems an insurmountable task for Martin Lasarte and company.

Al Ahly v Sundowns feature

However, as with all the North African sides, Al Ahly are not always the best of travellers, but it is their home record which speaks volumes.

This should see a testing encounter for the Tshwane giants with an estimated 30 000 fans behind the home side.

Al Ahly have not lost in 20 continental games at home and following the news that the match will be moved to Cairo despite initially being pencilled for Suez, this only comes a greater boost for the Egyptians.

But the fact remains that no matter how good of a performance Al Ahly produce on Saturday, turning around a 5-0 deficit is very unlikely.

Perhaps even the great Al Ahly sides of the past would have struggled, although it was unlikely that they would ever find themselves in this situation; a comeback seems beyond the qualities of the current crop of players.

This throws up a conundrum for Pitso Mosimane on whether he should go out to avoid defeat and defend their lead or should they instead look to pile more misery on Al Ahly. 

Pitso Mosimane of Mamelodi Sundowns August 2018

Al Ahly are in an unfamiliar territory finding themselves under such pressure despite having conquered the continent on eight separate occasions, and this makes for the ultimate test of character on their part.

Article continues below

While advancing is out of the question for even the most ardent of fans, the Red Devils need to concentrate on redemption.

Failure to exact revenge can signal the end of the road for Lasarte, while for Sundowns, this is their biggest chance to showcase their quality in North Africa.

The Maghreb region has never been one of solitude for Sundowns, but against a team devoid of ideas, Masandawana should use the game to build confidence, as undoubtedly, the humiliation that they have inflicted on the Egyptian giants would have sent shockwaves to the rest of the teams that are still in the competition.