Egyptian giants Al Ahly have a mountain to climb in the second leg of their Caf Champions League quarterfinal tie after shipping five goals against Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria.
The eight-time African champs suffered their worst defeat in 77 years in the first leg at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday, and have the slimmest of chances in their bid for a fourth continental title since 2013.
They will be looking to overturn the hefty deficit when the two sides meet once more on Saturday in Alexandria after the fixture was moved from Suez at the last minute.
Coach Martin Lasarte has promised a much improved performance from his charges this time around;
“I promise that every player in the team will give his best and I will do everything to compensate for the harsh result of the previous match.”
Martin Lasarte, Al Ahly coach
An improved performance is exactly what Lasarte’s Sundowns counterpart Pitso Mosimane, who indicated that his charges will not let up when it comes to intensity, despite their handsome advantage.
“It’s going to be a difficult game. We need to fight fire with fire.
“I hope we keep our integrity. I hope we keep the result. I hope we protect the big work we have done. We don’t have a guarantee, but it’s all in the mind.”
Pitso Mosimane, Mamelodi Sundowns coach
Sundowns arrived in Egypt on Tuesday after flying in a 25-man squad, missing a key player in Anthony Laffor, who remained behind nursing an injury.
They have, however, taken a player who returns after a lengthy lay-off in Sibusiso Vilakazi, who could make his first appearance since the early days of the 2018/19 season.
Al Ahly vs Mamelodi Sundowns: Kick off and live stream
Date: Saturday, 13 April
Kick off time: 18:00 (SAST)
Venue: Egyptian Army Stadium, Alexandria