Sha-sha breaks duck in Egypt – The Namibian
PETER Shalulile opened his Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League account for the season to help Mamelodi Sundowns share the points against Egyptians, Al Ahly, in Cairo on Saturday.The 2-2 result kept Sundowns top of Group B, a point ahead second-placed Al Hilal Omdurman of Sudan, with three games left.It also ended Sundowns' impressive 16-match winning run across all competitions. But, the South African champions remain top, thanks to earlier wins over Al Hilal and Coton Sport of Cameroon.The deadlock was broken in the 34th minute when Cassius Mailula set up Shalulile for a tap-in at the back post.Saturday's strike was the first for Shalulile in the Champions League this season, but he now has the second most away goals for Sundowns in the competition with five strikes.Substitute Thapelo Morena, who rescued the point for Sundowns after his 80th minute leveller, heads that stat with six goals.“We wanted to win today [but] we didn't win, it's an important point against a very good team,” Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena said in the post-match interview.Al Ahly came back rejuvenated after half-time, and were awarded a penalty after ex-Sundowns star Percy Tau was fouled in the box.However, Mohamed Hany was superbly denied by goalkeeper Ronwen Williams from the spot-kick.Mohamed Abdelmonem made it 1-1 with a header on after 59 minutes when Sundowns were caught napping from a corner.Hussein el Shahat punished further hesitant defending to fire the hosts into the lead on 74 minutes with a shot that beat Williams at his near post.“Congratulations to both teams for putting in a very good performance. I think the crowd enjoyed the four goals, two very good sides on the pitch,” said Mokwena.“And, congratulations to my players because it was a very difficult game against a very good side and a team that made us work very very hard for the point. We wanted to get three points but it was not easy against Al Ahly,” Mokwena noted.Masandawana have a proven record of dominating the group stages. Last season they were at the top after winning five matches and recording one draw, Rulani said on approaching one game at a time.Al Hilal have six points, Al Ahly one and Coton none in a section the Egyptian and South African outfits were expected to dominate and claim the two quarterfinal places up for grabs.“It's group stages. I've maintained from day one that it's four very good teams and one step at a time,” Mokwena cautioned.Al Ahly have a game in hand at home to Coton on Saturday, but two of their other three fixtures are in South Africa and Cameroon.“It's group stages first and now it's to focus on hosting Al Ahly in Pretoria, making sure that we fight for the points. We have to fight for the points, because no points will be given to us. And then we will see how it goes from there. Step by step we grow, game by game and we look to get better,” the Sundowns gaffer said.Sundowns will look to kickstart a new winning run on Thursday when they face Marumo Gallants in Bloemfontein to resume their defence of the South African FA Cup.