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CAF Champions League

Mosimane believes VAR could have helped Al Ahly avoid Mamelodi Sundowns defeat

07:49 IST 27/02/2022
Pitso Mosimane Al Ahly
Masandawana won the Group A encounter 1-0 thanks to substitute Thapelo Morena's 85th minute goal in Cairo on Saturday night

Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane feels that if VAR had been in place in the Caf Champions League match against Mamelodi Sundowns, the result could have turned out differently.

In a tight game, Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene made several crucial saves, while the 10-time Champions League winners also had a goal ruled out for offside after Percy Tau had netted against his former team.

One of Mweene's saves was made right on the edge of his big box, and the Egyptians had claimed it as a handball, but their protests fell on deaf ears.

"I will always ask for Caf to give us VAR because I mean, the goalkeeper handled the ball outside the box and the goal of Percy Tau in my opinion was not offside," Mosimane said in the post-match press conference, as quoted by IDiskiTimes.

“It’s not offside, he scored a goal, that’s when you need the VAR to clear things up. But we are not blaming VAR that we lost, we had many opportunities to score and we didn’t.”

Even with the benefit of normal TV replays, it was difficult to tell where exactly Mweene had made contact with the ball.

In Tau's case though, replays suggested that the match officials had actually got the call right.

It was the first time that Ahly have lost in the Champions League at home since 2016 and the first time in six attempts that Sundowns have beaten them in Egypt.

“Of course, we’re feeling very sad," Mosimane said.

"It’s a match I didn’t want to lose, but it’s part of the game, these things happen in football.

“I can’t blame the team, we tried so much and got so many opportunities to score. I always knew if the danger comes, it would be a counter attack because we had numbers on the other side, my midfield went out.

“It happens in football, you learn the hard way and it puts us in a difficult position now where we need to qualify the hardest way.

“Congratulations to Mamelodi Sundowns. But when you put pressure, pressure and pressure, one mistake, one chance you do that - and they will score.”

The win lifted Sundowns top of Group A with seven points. Al Merreikh are second with four points from two games while Ahly have only one point from two matches. Masandawana have played three games.