Mamelodi Sundowns suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of Al Ahly in the first leg of the Caf Champions League quarter-finals on Saturday.
Ali Maaloul netted twice in the second half to give Al Ahly a huge advantage going into the return leg in Tshwane.
Pitso Mosimane brought back his big guns for this encounter with Denis Onyango and Ricardo Nascimento returning to the starting line-up after missing the game against VUT last week.
Sundowns knew what he was up against, and needed height across all departments for this clash against Al Ahly in their own backyard.
Al Ahly made their intentions clear very early in the game as they pinned Sundowns back and gave them little space to knock the ball around in midfield.
The first chance of the game fell to Al Ahly in the 15th-minute when Amr El Solia's header shaved Onyango's upright from an in-swinging free-kick.
Gaston Sirino got enough space to take a shot from range but his attempt didn't trouble El Shenawy as it flew over the crossbar minutes later.
Al Ahly were all over Sundowns, playing some decent crosses into the box but Onyango stood tall and used his height to dominate his penalty area.
Sundowns set back in the final 15 minutes of the first half and made it difficult for Al Ahly to get to test Onyango.
The second half started like a house on fire with Al Ahly doing all they could to break the deadlock.
The home side finally got the breakthrough in the 55th-minute when Maaloul fired past Onyango from a Junior Ajayi cross to make it 1-0.
At this stage, the momentum was still with Al Ahly who, after relentless pressure, won a penalty in the 68th-minute after Ali Badji was brought down inside the box.
Maaloul then stepped up and converted what was his second goal of the evening - giving his side some breathing space between them and Sundowns.
Mosimane introduced Tiyani Mabunda for Sirino in an attempt to at least keep the scoreline at 2-0 and perhaps get the away goal.
However, it wasn't to be as Al Ahly enjoyed ball possession and denied Sundowns space to create clearcut chances.
Sundowns will now have to overturn the 2-0 deficit in next week's second leg in Tshwane.