Sundowns crowned African champions

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Ramzi Khaled of Zamalek tackled by Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2016 CAF Champions League Final second leg between Zamalek and Sundowns at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt on 23 October 2016.

JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned the champions of Africa after they overcame Egypt's Zamalek on Sunday evening to win the 2016 CAF Champions League.

Despite going down 1-0 in the match, the South African outfit won the tie 3-1 on aggregate after they had dispatched the North Africans 3-0 in the first leg at home in Pretoria last week.

Sundowns' success in Africa's top club competition comes 21 years after Soweto club Orlando Pirates became the first South African team to take the title.

It completes a dramatic comeback for the Pretoria-based club after they had been eliminated in the last of the preliminary rounds of the national Champions League earlier this year.

They were then given a reprieve with a place in the group phase after Vita Club, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, were found to have used a suspended player and were banned from the competition by the Confederation of African Football.

Zamalek mounted all-out attack in their bid to overhaul the three-goal deficit, a feat only once previously achieved in the 50-year history of the tournament.

The match was a tense affair and this was reflected by the two benches, who clashed in the first half of the match.

Sundowns defended well and had a chance the first half but Khama Billiat and Percy Tau could not profit from it.

Wayne Sandilands, who replaced the injured Dennis Onyango in goal, made a fine just before the interval.

Unfortunately Sandilands could not prevent Zamalek from scoring after the hour. Stanley Ohawuchi broke the deadlock in front of the 70,000 crowd at the Borg El Arab Stadium

The Nigerian’s shot from outside the penalty area in the 62nd minute handed the home side some hope and they took complete control of the last half-hour, launching wave after wave of attack as Sundowns had to withstand long periods of pressure as the hosts poured forward.

The win ensures that Sundowns - owned by billionaire mining magnate Patrice Motsepe - will represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup in December.

A competition that will feature Spanish and Europeans giants Real Madrid, winners of the UEFA Champions League last season.