Sundowns claim maiden continental crown

Sundowns claim maiden continental crown
Ramzi Khaled of Zamalek tackled by Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2016 CAF Champions League Final second leg between Zamalek and Sundowns at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt on 23 October 2016 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Oct 23, 2016. 22:20

Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned 2016 Caf Champions League champions despite a 1-0 defeat to Zamalek at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Sunday evening.

The Brazilians winning 3-1 on aggregate over two-legs to claim their first ever continental crown. It is only the second time in history that a South Africa team has won the coveted title with the Chloorkop-based side following in the footsteps of Orlando Pirates, the Buccaners having claimed the same cup 21 years ago.

Stanley Ohawuchi scored the only goal of the game for the White Knights, but despite relentless pressure throughout the 90, the Egyptian giants were unable to claim a sixth Champions League title.

As expected, the hosts dominated exchanges from the get-go with Sundowns happy to absorb pressure and hit Zamalek on the counter-attack.

Nigeria wide man Ohawuchi was a constant threat with the attacker going close on 12 minutes. But, having burst into the area he failed to find the back of the net with the goal at his mercy.

Sundowns suffered a major blow just short of the half-hour mark with Onyango forced from the field - Wayne Sandilands, who started the group stages in goal for the Tshwane side, making his way onto the park.

The visitors finally found their rhythm in the closing stages of the stanza and after Percy Tau forced Gennesh into a top save in the 39th minute - Khama Billiat saw his deflected shot canon off the top of the crossbar.

Goalless at the break.

Zamalek continued their assault on the Sundowns goal and were finally rewarded in the 64th minute with Ohawuchi hammering home the opener from distance to send the home crowd into delirium.

Emmanuel Mayuka came off the bench in the closing exchanges of the clash and almost had the desired impact with his first touch. The former Southampton man desperately unlucky to see his header attempt cleared off the line in the 86th minute by the imposing Bangaly Soumahoro, who enjoyed a stellar evening in place of the suspended Wayne Arendse.

In the end, Sundowns held on despite constant pressure and will as a result partake in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup to be staged in Japan at the end of the year.

Zamalek (0) 1 (Ohawuchi 64')
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0

Zamaelek: Gennesh; Khaled (Shikabala 76'), Dweidar, Gabr, Youssef - Hamed (Salah 85'), Tawfik - Ohawuchi, Hefny (Mayuka 85'), Fathi - Morsy

Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango (Sandilands 28'); Langerman, Nthethe, Soumahoro, Mbekile - Kekana, Mabunda - Dolly, Tau, Laffor (Modise 72') - Billiat (S.Zwane 84')



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