Egyptian fixture leaves Al Ahly with short time in SA for quarter against Sundowns

03 April 2019 - 11:43 By Mark Gleeson
Tunisian international Ali Maaloul (L) celebrates after scoring one of the two goals in Al Ahly's 2-0 league win over Al Ittihad away in Alexandria on Tuesday April 3 2019.
Tunisian international Ali Maaloul (L) celebrates after scoring one of the two goals in Al Ahly's 2-0 league win over Al Ittihad away in Alexandria on Tuesday April 3 2019.
Image: Al Ahly/Twitter

Egyptian giants Al Ahly are due to arrive in Johannesburg on Wednesday‚ giving them just three days to acclimatise to the altitude on the Highveld ahead of Saturday’s Caf Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Mamelodi Sundowns in Atteridgeville.

Ahly flew straight after going to the top of the log in Egypt when they beat Al Ittihad away in Alexandria on Tuesday.

Tunisian international Ali Maaloul and substitute Saleh Gomaa scored in injury time to secure an important 2-0 victory and go top of the table just ahead of their arch-rivals Zamalek‚ who can reclaim top spot when they play on Wednesday night.

Last Saturday Ahly and Zamalek played out a goalless draw in the Cairo derby.

Ahly will arrive with a formidable squad‚ now coached by the Uruguayan Martin Lasarte‚ formerly with Real Sociedad in Spain’s La Liga.

Meanwhile‚ the Confederation of African Football (Caf) have announced that the return leg between Al Ahly and Sundowns will be played in the Suez Stadium instead of Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria‚ which has been criticised in recent weeks for the poor state of the pitch.

The second leg is on Saturday‚ April 13.

This weekend’s first leg game at Lucas Moripe Stadium had been originally scheduled for Friday but was moved to Saturday afternoon at 3pm after pressure from Sundowns‚ angry that Caf keep ordering them to play matches with 9pm kick offs.

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