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Ahly triumph over Africa back

JOHANNESBURG: Defender Mohamed Abdelmonem equalized at the night time as Al Ahly of Egypt drew 1-1 at Wydad Casablanca of Morocco on Sunday to win the CAF Champions League for a record-extending eleventh time. His function cancelled the lead Yahia Attiyat Allah gave the protecting champions and earned the Cairo membership a 3-2 combination victory after development a 2-1 first-leg lead seven days in the past. Defeat for Wydad ended a run of 2 ultimate victories over Ahly, and so they paid the penalty for focusing on protecting their fragile second-leg lead as an alternative of in the hunt for additional objectives.

In contrast to Europe, away objectives rely double in African membership competitions when facets end degree on combination and Wydad would have retained the trophy had they received 1-0. Ahly pocketed a checklist 4 million bucks for successful and Marcel Koller changed into the primary Swiss trainer to win the premier African membership festival. It used to be the 3rd Champions League triumph in 4 seasons for Ahly after victories over fellow Egyptians Zamalek in 2020 and Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa the next yr. Wydad made two adjustments to the facet that started the primary leg in Cairo closing weekend with attackers Mohamed Ounajem and Saifeddine Bouhra changing Reda Jaadi and Zouhair el Moutaraji.

Veteran Ounajem used to be a part of the Wydad crew to overcome Ahly within the 2017 ultimate whilst Bouhra scored closing Sunday after approaching as a past due replace. Ahly made one alternate with fit-again first selection goalkeeper Mohamed el Shenawy returning rather than Ahmed Shobeir. The second one leg used to be the thirteenth time the African membership giants had met within the Champions League with Ahly retaining a 5-3 lead and 4 suits drawn. A few of the capability crowd within the 65,000-seat Stade Mohammed V used to be Patrice Motsepe, a South African billionaire and president of the Confederation of African Soccer (CAF).

Big day For referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa from Ethiopia it used to be an important day – his closing fit ahead of retiring on the age of 42 after 14 years dealing with world fixtures. As the primary half of were given underneath approach, an unlucky function of African soccer reared its unsightly head back with inexperienced lasers pointed at visiting avid gamers to take a look at and distract them. Moroccan Ayoub El Amloud had the primary clearcut probability simply previous the 10-minute mark, however after a stunning dribble into the realm, his tame, misguided shot posed no danger.

The Ahly strike drive of Mahmoud Kahraba, South African Percy Tau and Hussein el Shahat had scored 15 Champions League objectives ahead of the second one leg, however had been not able to hassle Wydad early on. Wydad broke the impasse when an Attiyat Allah free-kick as regards to the touchline floated into the goalmouth, eluded El Shenawy, and landed within the a long way nook of the online. Ahly made no headway ahead of half-time as they attempted to equalise and their frustrations ended in yellow playing cards for Kahraba and El Shahat, whilst Bouhra used to be cautioned for time losing.

No person used to be extra relieved when a 51-minute opening half of completed than the referee, who used to be struggling with to stay keep an eye on of a few bad-tempered Moroccans and Egyptians. Halfway thru the second one half of smoke from flares limited visibility resulting in play being quickly halted. A collection piece gave Wydad the lead and any other one – a nook from Ali Maaloul – arrange Abdelmonem to equalize with a glancing header into the a long way nook that surprised the gang. Ahly had numerous second-half ownership, however didn’t severely threaten Wydad goalkeeper Youssef el Motie ahead of leveling.- AFP

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