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CAFCL: Williams’ heroics help Sundowns escape Sudan with a point

Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Ronwen Williams came up with a massive penalty kick save late on as the South African champions earned a point from their 1-1 CAF Champions League Group B draw against Sudan’s Al-Hilal in Omdurman on Saturday. Khuliso Mudau opened the scoring for the visitors in the second half before Hilal’s Mohamed Abdelrahman leveled courtesy of a mistake from Williams but the South Africa national team keeper atoned for his error by denying Athir El Tahir’s late penalty kick. Sundowns remain at the top of the group with eleven points while Hilal’s late miss could come back to haunt them because the Sudanese champions will now need to avoid defeat in Cairo when they face Al Ahly on April 1 with second place and a spot in the quarterfinals at stake.

Sundowns generally dominated possession during Saturday’s match but goalkeeper Williams needed to be at his best early on. The former SuperSport United shot stopper kept out two efforts from Hilal star Makabi Lilepo, who caused plenty of trouble for the Sundowns defense with his runs in behind.

The visitors kept the match scoreless when halftime arrived and created more danger in the second half until they opened the scoring in the 67th minute. A curling Aubrey Modiba free kick was spilled by Hilal goalkeeper Ali Eshrein and Mudau swooped in to finish the rebound from a tight angle. Five minutes later the match was level when Williams was caught in possession right in front of his goal and Abdelrahman won the ball before firing in.

Hilal continued to push for a win that would clinch passage to the quarterfinals and it appeared the hosts would snatch a late goal after Sundowns defender Brian Onyango took down Yasir Muzamil for a penalty kick. Williams turned from villain to hero for not only Sundowns supporters but Al Ahly supporters as well by snatching El Tahir’s spot kick in what could be a crucial moment for the Sudanese club.

Highlights from the match are below.


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