Al Ahly SC: The Ultimate Test For Downs

Al-Ahly and Mamelodi-Sundowns will face each other in Cairo on Saturday evening.

Here is the story: Al Ahly SC will host rampant Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday evening at the Al-Salam stadium.

The 10 000 tickets that were reportedly made available for the match, sold out within 15 minutes, which shows how much the Al Ahly fans are looking forward to this encounter.

The last time the two sides met in Egypt, Mamelodi Sundowns came out victorious through a well taken Thapelo Morena goal.

While the Brazilians will be looking to achieve more of the same, Al Ahly will want nothing more than being the team to finally derail the runaway yellow train off its tracks.

Ever since Rulani Mokwena took over the head coaching reigns at Downs, they have not lost a game in all competitions.

And their record against the Egyptians suggests they might just be able to leave Al-Salam stadium unscathed come the end of the game on Saturday evening.

The Brazilians have lost once against the Red Devils in their last five matches, winning twice, with two of the encounters ending in a stalemate.

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But the fact of the matter is: While Sundowns have been winning battle after battle, they are yet to meet a side as tactically well organized, plays at a high intensity, and clinical in the final third as Al Ahly SC.

Despite the fact that the Red Devils lost to Al Hilal Omdurman in their opening CAFCL group stage game, a side that had lost to Downs just a week before, expect them to be ruthless against Sundowns.

Too much is at stake for Al Ahly, they will be playing at home, they will be seeking revenge, and they can’t afford to lose two CAFCL games in a row, which might compromise their chances of progressing to the quarterfinals.

Based on the above factors, they will take the fight to Sundowns, testing them in all factors of the game, especially the mental and tactical factors.

The Brazilians, although they have been clinical in the final third, have looked rattled and unsure of themselves defensively when put under intense offensive pressure, and that is a weakness Al Ahly can exploit to the fullest.

While Downs have been dominant in their performances, even in the CAFCL, bossing possession against Al Hilal and CotonSport, Al Ahly may not allow them that luxury.

The Egyptians have the ability to press with aggression and intensity, which could pose a challenge for Downs possession based approach.

If Rulani Mokwena’s men can survive the Red Devils’s onslaught on Saturday night, by even coming back home with a point, they would have passed the ultimate test.

And one would start believing that maybe, just maybe, they will go further in this edition of the CAFCL.

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In a nutshell: Mamelodi Sundowns have done to Egypt before and came back victorious against the team of the century.

That might suggest there is no need to doubt them this time around.

But there is just too much at stake for Al Ahly SC when it comes to this game, which makes for a clash one would not want to miss.

Will Downs survive the heat of Red Devils raging fire?

Al-Ahly and Mamelodi-Sundowns will face each other in Cairo on Saturday evening.
Al-Ahly and Mamelodi-Sundowns will face each other in Cairo on Saturday evening.