Mamelodi Sundowns see out Al Ahly to book historic African Football League final spot

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Mamelodi Sundowns held firm against Al Ahly in Cairo on Wednesday night to complete a 1-0 aggregate victory and advance to the African Football League final, where they will face Wydad Casablanca.

A goalless draw at the Cairo International Stadium sealed Sundowns’ progression after last week’s first leg win, setting up an intriguing all-North African title decider.

Al Ahly piled on huge pressure from the outset as Percy Tau forced a good early save before winning a penalty which Ronwen Williams saved.

The Egyptian giants quickly had the ball in the net too but Tau was denied by an offside flag after rounding the keeper.

Williams then atoned for two errors by blocking a close range effort to keep Al Ahly at bay as Sundowns survived an early storm.

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Tau clipped the bar shortly after as the hosts threatened to level the tie, but Sundowns held firm to reach their first continental final since 2016.

Sundowns relied on brilliant defending and some fortune to overcome an Al Ahly side desperate for continental glory after recent near misses.

But the South Africans showed resilience to complete the job on a tense night and etch their name into AFL folklore.

Sundowns have taken a major step towards correcting their own barren spell on the continent by exhibiting consummate game management when it mattered most.

The first leg victory proved pivotal as Sundowns restricted Al Ahly before hitting the hosts on the counter through Thapelo Maseko last Sunday.

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That precious away goal ultimately made the difference over the two legs as Sundowns clung on for a famous aggregate victory.

Now only Wydad stand between the South Africans and the $4 million prize for AFL’s inaugural champions.

 

 

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