Saturday, October 15, 2016 9:16 pm
Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa on Saturday moved closer to a fairy-tale CAF Champions League title win with a 3-0 home victory over Zamalek of Egypt.
In the first leg match of the final round, Liberian Anthony Laffor and Tebogo Langerman scored in the first half to set the tone for the South African side.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NASN) reports that the game was a lively match watched by a capacity 30,000 crowd at Lucas ‘Masterpieces’ Stadium on the outskirts of Pretoria.
The home team moved three goals ahead less than a minute into the second half when Islam Gamal conceded an own-goal on an uncomfortably hot afternoon for the players.
Continental success for the South African outfit owned by mining magnate Patrice Motsepe will complete a remarkable turnaround this year in the premier African club football competition.
Mamelodi Sundowns were eliminated by Vita Club in the final qualifying round in April only to be reinstated when the DR Congo side were disqualified for using an ineligible player.
The Pretoria team went on to defeat five-time African champions Zamalek narrowly at home and away in the group stage.
However, taking a three-goal lead in the final exceeds their wildest dreams.
Should Sundowns be crowned champions after the return match in Alexandria next Sunday, they will become only the second South African winners of the competition after Orlando Pirates 21 years ago.
History favours Sundowns as only one club, Mouloudia Alger of Algeria in 1976, have overcome a three-goal first-leg deficit in a final.