This is arguably the highlight of the 2019/2020 CAF Champions League quarterfinals. We are not expecting one of these teams to lose by 5 goals again but we would not be surprised to see that many goals scored in either of the 2 legs.
These are just a few of the talking points to take note of ahead of Al Ahly v Mamelodi Sundowns. Read the rest below.
1. Ahly’s revenge mission
Coach, Rene Weiler will deny it in the pre-match interview. But everyone knows that Al Ahly will be out to make amends on the humiliating defeat they suffered, at the hands of Sundowns, last season. The 5-0 loss was the biggest defeat that Al Ahly has ever suffered in the CAFCL. It adds onto the pain of their 6-year wait to win this competition again. The Cairo side will most likely be unable to inflict a matching defeat to Sundowns but will be pleased to go through.
2. Attacking football
We do not always get to enjoy a CAFCL match where both teams play attacking football. There is an unwritten rule that the away team must always play to defend or completely rely on counter-attacking football. This match will be a breath of fresh air. Pitso Mosimane always goes for the jugular when out on CAF Champions League assignments. Just as well, Rene Weiler has transformed Ahly into this kind of team. Make no mistake, Al Ahly and Sundowns are the most entertaining teams to watch in the CAFCL this season.
3. Jali v Dieng
What a powerhouse battle! Andile Jali made his name in this competition back in his Orlando Pirates days. Pitso Mosimane brought him back to do a job at Sundowns and he has not let his coach down. He has formed a formidable partnership with Kekana in midfield and will feel he deserves the gold medal. Ahly was lacking in this area and went on to sign, Malian, Aliou Dieng. The young midfielder has quickly become a fan favourite. These 2 defensive midfielders will have the most important role to play in nullifying the tremendous quality of the opposition’s attacking midfield.
4. Reputation of the Egyptian Premier League
As of this writing, Al Ahly has played 15 league matches and won all of them. The Cairo giants have also conceded only 3 league goals all season. This amazing team has not quite translated into the CAFCL. In fact, Al Ahly almost suffered the embarrassment of a group stage exit. It will speak volumes about the state of the Egyptian league if their perfect team is dumped out of the CAFCL quarterfinal, by the same team, for a second season running.