Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi believes his team will still qualify for the next round of the CAF Champions League despite their 2-0 defeat against Al Ahly in Cairo on Saturday, 15 May.

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The Brazilians suffered a 2-0 defeat to Al Ahly who focused solely on the counter-attacks to take a valuable two-goal lead into the second leg in Pretoria next Saturday.

Al Ahly opened the scoring through Taher Mohamed after 23 minutes, before Salah Mohsen double the lead with a few minutes left on the clock following a howler from Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango.

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Manqoba started his post-match press conference by saying: “It was a difficult match. We played well and unfortunately, we did not score.

“I have never seen Sundowns defeat Al Ahly in Egypt, nor have I ever seen Al Ahly play on the counter-attacks in their stadium.

“The first half is over, and the second will be in Johannesburg.

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“We dominated the midfield and wasted more than one chance. The performance in the second half was better, but we did not create the same number of chances we did in the first half.

“Mohamed El-Shennawy was very present and saved more than one goal.

“I respect Al Ahly. They have smart players like Mohamed Sherif, Afsha and Taher Mohamed. I am convinced that we are a great team, and this is just a one match loss.

“I am satisfied with the performance of my team and we were better at times. The qualification rate is 60% in favour of Al Ahly. However, we have the advantage of playing the second leg at our stadium, and will be able to score multiple goals.

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When asked about the reason for bringing off Gaston Sirino, Mngqithi replied: “There were violent plays on him, and he was leaving his place, so I preferred to substitute him in order to support our attacks.

About Themba Zwane’s absence, he said: “Zwane was not ready for the game. The players did what they had to do, and if we scored our chances, our chances in qualification would have changed, but we will be able to score in the second leg.

“If Al Ahly play the same way they did here, they will face a problem because they will have to play on the counter-attacks.

“Al Ahly is not strong in defence. Al Ahly is an offensive team, they are not used to defence, and I can exploit that.

“Mosimane knows everything about Sundowns for sure, but the reality will be different in the next match,” Mngqithi concluded.

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The South African