The Brazilians could not score the three goals they needed to reach the semi-finals of the continental showpiece
As they searched for a spot in the semi-finals of the Caf Champions League, Mamelodi Sundowns drew 1-1 against Al Ahly in the second leg of the quarter-finals but they lost the clash 3-1 on aggregate on Saturday afternoon at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
The reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions made changes in their starting eleven when defender Wayne Arendse was sacrificed for Anele Ngcongca whilst Motjeka Madisha moved to the heart of the defence with Ricardo Nascimento.
Sundowns were chasing for a win and overturn the 2-0 loss they suffered away in Cairo from but they didn’t have a bright start into the contest.
Skipper Hlompho Kekana tried his long-range efforts but could not trouble experienced goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy as his effort went wide in the 10th minute.
Five minutes later, defender Nascimento combined well with Gaston Sirino but the Brazilian defender could not keep his effort on target.
However, the biggest moment of the match happened when Lebohang Maboe scored an own goal as he tried to clear Ali Maaloul’s free-kick in the 21st minute, handing the Red Devils the lead.
The 2016 African champions continued to probe for an equalizer and it was Sirino who made it 1-1 when he easily tapped in a cross from Themba Zwane in the 26th minute after Shenawy attempted to parry the cross.
In the 32nd minute, coach Pitso Mosimane’s troops pushed to bag their second goal but Kekana’s delivery into the far post was met by Sibusiso Vilakazi whose header was swallowed by the veteran keeper, El-Shenawy.
Despite efforts from both camps to score the second goal, they both went to the tunnel deadlocked at 1-1, a result that was favourable to the Egyptians.
Upon their return from the tunnel, the Tshwane giants made changes and Mosimane introduced Tebogo Langerman for Mosa Lebusa as they looked to exploit the left-hand side of Rene Weiler’s men.
Before he was substituted for Phakamani Mahlambi, Maboe connected superbly with Langerman, yet the striker’s effort went over the crossbar in the 52nd minute.
Heading to the hour mark, Mahlambi set off Zwane on the left-wing, but the Bafana Bafana international could not beat El-Shenawy who produced a fine save.
With Sundowns looking to unlock the visiting defence, it was Ahly that nearly scored in the 72nd minute, but goalkeeper Denis Onyango was quick to make a fine save denying Junior Ajayi’s low shot from close range.
In the dying stages of the clash, Mosimane pulled off his skipper for Ali Meza who saw his shot going wide in the 80th minute.
However, the changes and the efforts could not bring the desired results as they exit the continental tournament.