As for Al-Ahly they seemed to have been more than jetlagged at the Sundowns home ground
Mamelodi Sundowns’ 5-0 win against the mighty Al-Ahly of Egypt in the CAF Champions League quarter-final first leg at the weekend is unmatched in the annals of the sport at that level for any South African team. In fact that victory topped a massive football weekend of upsets on the local front as well.
First off are the kudos that must go to Sundowns for humbling the Egyptian giants for the first time ever, and so convincingly here at home; possibly smoothing their way into the CAF Champions League semi-finals.
There is still the small matter of the return leg of the quarter-finals that Sundowns must honour away to Al-Ahly this coming Saturday when they travel to the Egyptian Army Stadium in Suez, south-east of Cairo at 6pm.
In the meantime, the 5-0 drubbing is all the reason to immerse ourselves in this massive victory as it is unparalleled by any South African team. The size of the win itself was unexpected according to reports quoting the victorious Sundowns coach Pitso “Jingles” Mosimane.
That makes two of us Pitso.
As for Al-Ahly they seemed to have been more than jetlagged at the Sundowns home ground. They stood listlessly around in a zombie-like state as the Brazilians ran rings around them.
Al-Ahly might have been distracted by events back home. If we have to speculate this probably has a lot to do with Egypt hosting the CAF African Cup of Nations finals over there in June.
For the most part, the much-decorated 112-year-old Al Ahly football club is in such instances the go-to team whenever Egypt faces international competitions. The Al-Ahly squad more often than not forms the backbone of Egypt’s national team.
This just goes to show how central and larger than life the club is in the sporting life of ordinary Egyptians.
Coming back home we have the pleasant spectacle to take in of at least three run-of-the-mill Premier Super League matches serving up the “wrong” sort of result at the weekend.
First up was the Kaizer Chiefs vs Baroka FC clash. Here the results went against the general expectation of an untroubled win for Kaizer Chiefs. Instead, the 1-0 upset caused by Baroka has thrown the cat among the pigeons.
For one the result is a massive setback for the Naturena club’s efforts to claw their way to within reach of the Premier Soccer League title. Granted, even had Chiefs won the Baroka clash, it would not have done much for their chances to get through to the congested peak at the of top the log.
For Baroka the win affords them a much-needed breather from teetering on the brink of the drop zone.
Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City served up the second of three upsets when Golden Arrows pipped them to the match points with a 1-0 win. ‘Nuf said about that result.
The next odd result thrown up at the weekend was that between Maritzburg United and Bloemfontein Celtic. From the word go it was anybody’s guess how this would end.
To start with, Maritzburg has seemingly taken leave of their good senses at this stage of the season and disrupted their organisation with a major change in the technical department.
Celtic, on the other hand, are in a boardroom quagmire without end. This set of events then meant that it didn’t matter which of the two won the league encounter it would be an upset as it would go against the script for either of them. So we could say that Maritzburg were surprise winners on the day.
We must end with Orlando Pirates who really did not score themselves but were gifted a win over Bidvest Wits which put them right at the peak of the PSL log.