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CAF Champions League

What went wrong for Mamelodi Sundowns against Al Ahly and how they can turn it around?

14:55 GMT 01/03/2020
Phakamani Mahlambi of Sundowns tackled by Yasser Ibrahim El Hanafi of Al Ahly, April 2019
Goal takes a look at Masandawana's defeat to the Red Devils which was their second loss in this season's competition

Mamelodi Sundowns face a mammoth task heading into their second-leg encounter of the Caf Champions League quarter-final.

The Tshwane giants are trailing 2-0 on aggregate after succumbing to a defeat against Egyptian champions Al Ahly in the first-leg clash in Cairo on Saturday evening.

Pitso Mosimane's men did well to contain the Red Devils in the first half, but Ali Maaloul's second-half brace inspired the hosts to a well-deserved victory.

Now Sundowns need to mount another remarkable quarter-final comeback against the most decorated club in African football.

Last season, Masandawana thumped the Cairo giants 5-0 in the first-leg clash in Tshwane in what was Al Ahly's biggest defeat in 77 years and Mosimane's side won the tie 5-1 on aggregate.

The PSL champions will need to produce a similar performance in order to overturn the two-goal deficit and progress to the semi-finals for the second year running.

Sundowns full-backs Tebogo Langerman and Thapelo Morena put on a show at the Lucas Moripe Stadium as they grabbed three assists between them against Al Ahly on the day.

Langerman, who registered two assists during the empathic win, was an unused substitute on Saturday evening, while Morena missed the game due to a long-term injury.

Central defenders Motjeka Madisha and Mosa Lebusa were deployed in the right-back and left-back positions respectively and they were static.

Both goals came from Madisha's side as Maaloul made his usual powerful runs from left-back and into the box which saw him break the deadlock.

Junior Ajayi was then fouled in the box after outpacing Madisha and the resultant penalty was converted by Maaloul to seal the home side's victory.

Mosimane has no option but to attack in the second-leg encounter which means reverting to having his usual offensive-minded full-backs.

Anele Ngcongca, who is a reliable right-back, is expected to be fit for the second-leg clash on March 7 after missing the first-leg match due to a minor injury.

While Bafana Bafana international Langerman will have to be recalled to the starting line-up after he was surprisingly dropped.

Home ground advantage will also be crucial for Sundowns as they boast one of the longest unbeaten home runs in the Champions League thanks to the big support they enjoy in Tshwane.

They are undefeated in their last 18 games as hosts.