Al Merrikh Crash Out At The Hands Of Sundowns
Al Merrikh have been eliminated from the CAF Champions League after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday night.
The result sees the Brazilians finish at the top of Group A, while their Sudanese opponents have crashed out after being pushed to rock bottom of the pool.
Sundowns dominated the match from the early stages, putting the visitors on the back foot, yet they were unable to create any clear scoring chances within the opening ten minutes of the match.
That all changed on the quarter hour mark when George Maluleka got on the end of Aubrey Modiba’s corner to steer his powerful header past Mohamed Mustafa.
The visitors were looking good, starting to put together some lovely passing exchanges. Nooh Mohamed had a solid effort go just wide only ten minutes later.
The match was proving to be quite a physical contest as both sets of players produced some fierce challenges. However, the score remained unchanged at the break as the sides headed for half-time with Sundowns leading 1-0.
The fierce challenges continued to fly in even after the restart, and the midfield battle was proving to be a very interesting one as both sides did well to break down play in the middle of the park.
Sundowns added their advantage on the 66th minute after pressure high-up the pitch from Domingo led Merrikh to concede possession to Ralani, who then ran clean on goal to find the back of the net.
The Brazilians built on that momentum and continued to dominate play, with substitute Kermit Erasmus thumped a volley beyond Mustafa from range on the 72nd minute to put the game to bed.
In the 86th minute Elsamani Saadeldin was denied a consolation by Sundowns third-choice custodian Reyaad Pieterse
Sundowns continued to control possession after that, but failed to add to the score line as the set a new African Champions record by ending the group stages on 16 points.