After witnessing Mamelodi Sundowns demolish the mighty Al Ahly 5-2 in the CAF Champions League on Saturday, ThisIsFootball.Africa wonders if it is one of their best-ever performances.
Take a look at look at our list of the top five Masandawana matches and see if the 2023 fixture has made the grade:
1. Sundowns 3-0 Zamalek, 2016 First Leg Final, Lucas Moripe stadium
Because of the occasion, the 2016 fixture between Sundowns and Zamalek was arguably the biggest and the greatest performance in the Caf Champions League by the Pretoria-based outfit. The 2016 campaign was a fairytale. Congolese side, AS Vita, were disqualified for fielding an improperly registered player during the preliminary rounds and as per CAF rules, Sundowns were given a lifeline in the competition. Pitso Mosimane’s men showed no mercy on the Egyptian side in that campaign as they had already defeated Zamalek home and away in the group stages.
Anthony Laffor opened the scoring with a powerful shot before left-back, Teboho Langerman, made it 2-0 from an atrocious angle to give the Brazillians a 2-nil lead before halftime. Percy Tau forced an own-goal early in the second half to ensure Sundowns took a comfortable lead to Cairo.
2. Sundowns 5-0 Al Ahly, 2019 First Leg Quarterfinal, Lucas Moripe stadium
The 2019 quarterfinal clash produced one of the best performances under the tenure of Pitso Mosimane, which led to Al Ahly ‘poaching’ him for the Cairo job. Star midfielder Themba Zwane made it 1-0 before defender Wayne Arendse gave Sundowns a 2-0 lead in the first half.
Ahly couldn’t bear with the heat in Atteridgeville and Sundowns ensured they increased the tempo in the second half. The second stanza became Gaston Sirino’s show. The Uruguayan inspired Sundowns to get three more to wrap up Ahly’s heaviest defeat in the history of the competition.
3. Sundowns 5-2 Al Ahly, 2023 2nd Leg Group Stage, Loftus Stadium
Rulani Mokwena’s team demolished Al Ahly in a 7-goal thriller at Loftus Stadium in Pretoria in
another group stage match. Chilean Marcelo Allende opened the scoring in the 4th minute, before midfield maestro Themba Zwane made it 2-0. Zwane’s goal made him Sundowns’ joint top scorer in the Champion League as he had joined club legend Surprise Moriri on 15 CAFCL goals.
Midfielder Teboho Mokoena netted a goal of the tournament contender from long range to give
the team a 3-1 half-time lead. Sundowns turned the heat on in the second half once again as Namibian international Peter Shalulile netted a second-half brace to ensure Masandawana progressed to the quarterfinals in style with a 5-2 win.
4. Sundowns 1-1 Al Ahly, 2001 First Leg Final, Loftus Stadium
Ted Dumitru’s golden generation had dominated the league three times in a row when they played their first-ever CAFCL final against Al Ahly. Sundowns’ goal was scored by Zambian international, Gift Kampamba, but the experience was shown by Ahly as they took a 1-all draw to Cairo to finish the job at home. The performance during the afternoon of December 2001 in Loftus was one of the highlights in Ted Dumitru’s tenure. Masandawana could hardly put a foot wrong on the balance of play. They didn’t even show it was their first-ever Champions League final.
5. CR Belouizdad 0-5 Sundowns, 2020, First Leg Group Stages
Sundowns’ great win during a Covid-19-ridden Champions League campaign against the Algerians was their biggest outside the borders of South Africa. The co-coaches, Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi produced one of the best and most dominant displays away from home in the Champions League.