Denis Onyango was at his usual best with saves after saves as Mamelodi Sundowns avoided a big loss in a 2-1 defeat to Wydad Casablanca in the first semi-final of the 2018-19 CAF Champions League.
The Uganda Cranes keeper was returning to action after staying out for a fortnight since picking a knee injury in a quarter final against Al Ahly.
The Ugandan was called to action as early as the third minute when he pulled a reflex save to keep off Salaheddine Saidi’s header off an El Hadad’s corner.
He forced another double goal line save two minutes later to stop Cheik Comara’s attempts, again, from a corner.
However, despite keeper’s resilience, his defence leaked in the 25th after failing to deal away with a counter attack from the right wing that snaked through to El Hadad who set up for Saidi to blast in Onyango’s top right corner.
The Brazilians fought back and grabbed an equalizer through defender Anele Ngcongca who headed in a rebound.
Badie Aouk fired the Moroccans into a first leg advantage pouncing on a spilled ball after Onyango failed to grip firmly on a Hadad thunderbolt from the left.
The two teams return to action next weekend in Pretoria with the aggregate winner advancing to the final.