Downs Drop Points, Williams Does Big Favour For Al Ahly

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Ronwen Williams
Ronwen Williams

Mamelodi Sundowns missed the chance to seal top spot in Group B of the CAF Champions League after drawing 1-1 with Al-Hilal on Saturday afternoon.

CAF Champions League

Result: Al-Hilal Omdurman 1-1 Mamelodi Sundowns

Date: 18 March 2023

Venue: Al-Hilal Stadium

Coach Rulani Mokwena made one change as Brian Onyango was brought into the starting line-up in place of Grant Kekana, as Cassius Mailula and Peter Shalulile continued up front.

The Brazilians enjoyed most of the possession early on, but it was Al-Hilal who carved out the game's first chance on 13 minutes when Glody Lilepo was slipped through on goal, but the forward was denied by a fine save from Ronwen Williams.

Mokwena's charges continued to dictate the play after that but they did find it tough carve out any clear-cut openings in the final third for the likes of Shalulile and Mailula.

Al-Hilal head coach Florent Ibenge was then forced to make a substituten on 33 minutes when defender Ibrahim Imoro was unable to continue and had to make way for Faris Abdallah.

With the visitors unable to carve out a clear chance, Khuliso Mudau wnet close with a strike from distance before the halftime break that sailed just over the bar, while goalkeeper  Ali Abu Eshrein nearly spilled Teboho Mokoena's shot into his own net.

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Sundowns came out firing in the second half and went close to breaking the deadlock through Marcelo Allende, who saw his strike saved by Abo while Mudau went close with a strike of his own a couple minutes later.

However, the visitors got their reward on 66 minute when Mudau reacted quickest to Abo's save from Aubrey Modiba's free-kick and fired into the far corner from a tight angle for his first goal in the grouo stages.

The lead didn't last too long as Al-Hil pulled level in the 72nd minute when Abdelrahman Yousif took advantage of Williams' being too casual on the ball and dispossessed the Sundowns goalkeeper before firing into an empty net.

Al-Hilal did manage to carve out a chance with ten minutes to go, as Lilepo did well to skip past one challenge in the box before blazing over the crossbar with a left-footed strike.

Mokwena opted for a triple change for the latter stages of the half, as Sipho Mbule, Mosa Lebusa and Sphelele Mkhulise were introduced for Neo Maema, Mokoena and Allende.

However, the hosts were handed a chance to secure a late goal after being awarded a penalty for Onyango's foul John Robia, but Al-Hilal fail to take advantage as Ather El Tahir's penalty was saved by Williams as the encounter ended all square.

Here's how they lined up:

Mamelodi Sundowns: Williams, B.Onyango, Mudau, Mvala, Modiba, Mokoena, Zwane, Maema, Mailula, Allende, Shalulile

Subs:  D.Onyango, Lebusa, Kutumela, Mkhulise, Mbule, Saavedra, Morena, Ralani, Mashego

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