By Mark Gleeson
PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns secured a 3-0 advantage over Zamalek of Egypt in Saturday’s first leg of the African Champions League final as they turned in a dominant home performance at Atteridgeville.
Anthony Laffor and Tebogo Langerman scored before the break and an own goal shortly after means Sundowns are closing in on their first African title as they head to the return leg in Alexandria next Sunday.
Laffor beat the offside trap to turn on a defensive splitting pass from Hlompho Kekana and score the opener on 31 minutes.Nine minutes later Langerman, attempting a cross from the left after a corner was played back to him, caught out Zamalek goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy with a ball that dipped and then went in off the post.
Sundowns’ third came as a goalbound shot from Percy Tau in the 46th minute was steered past his own goalkeeper by Zamalek defender Islam Gamal.
The home side were rarely under pressure and can complete a fairytale run to the trophy if they hold on to their lead next weekend.
The South Africans had been eliminated in the last preliminary round, before the group phase, in May but were given a reprieve when their Congolese opponents were found to have used a suspended player.
They took the second chance with relish, winning all their group games except the last, after they had already secured top place, and came through the semi-finals to continue a dramatic comeback.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)