OHANNESBURG: Al Ahly hopes of a record-extending eleventh CAF Champions League name grasp within the steadiness after conceding a overdue target in a 2-1 last, first-leg win over Wydad Casablanca on Sunday. The Egyptians will face the Moroccans once more, in Casablanca subsequent Sunday, determined to keep away from a 3rd last loss to their competitors in seven seasons. Ahly constructed a two-goal lead after 59 mins thru objectives from South African Percy Tau and Mahmoud Kahraba earlier than a capability 50,000 crowd on the Cairo Global Stadium.
However the last took a dramatic flip when protecting champions Wydad snatched a treasured away target 4 mins from the top of normal time thru replace Saifeddine Bouhra. Ahly had been not in keep watch over, and if Wydad can rating as soon as and no longer concede within the go back fit, they’re going to retain the name and be topped African champions a fourth time. The house facet driven ahead from the kick-off and Tau and Kahraba got here on the subject of scoring earlier than the Libyan referee awarded Ahly a penalty for hand ball on half-hour.
Pleas from Wydad adopted and the fit legitimate modified his determination after viewing the pitch-side VAR observe and realising the ball hit the top of Bouly Sambou and no longer his hand. Such was once the dominance of the Egyptian outfit that their third-choice goalkeeper, Mostafa Shobeir, didn’t contact the ball till collecting a innocuous free-kick on 35 mins. Shobeir, a son of mythical Ahly goalkeeper Ahmed Shobeir, made his Champions League debut after accidents dominated out first preference Mohamed el Shenawy and reserve Ali Lotfy.
Courageous block The stand-in goalkeeper bravely blocked a shot from Ayman el Hassouni along with his frame quickly after after which Tau put Ahly forward 4 mins into first part added time. Hussein El Shahat held off the demanding situations of 2 defenders at the target line earlier than crossing and unmarked Tau nodded previous goalkeeper Youssef el Motie on the some distance submit. It was once the 5th target of the Champions League marketing campaign for the South African, who starred within the semi-final overcome four-time title-holders Esperance of Tunisia.
Mohamed Hany, deputizing as captain for El Shenawy, and El Shahat mixed to arrange Kahraba for the second one target after 59 mins. An excellent lengthy, cross-field cross from Hany discovered El Shahat, who driven the ball around the goalmouth for Kahraba to fireplace into the online from shut vary. Sensing the name was once slipping from their seize, Wydad replied definitely and Yahia Attiyat Allah struck the woodwork with a low shot halfway thru the second one part. El Motie stored beautifully from Kahraba after nice paintings through Tau because the Cairo Purple Devils sought the three-goal merit that may have nearly assured them general victory.
Zouhair El Moutaraji, whose surprise target resulted in Wydad beating Ahly within the 2022 last, made little affect this time and was once changed through Bouhra on 82 mins. It proved a masterstroke through not too long ago employed Belgian trainer Sven Vandenbroeck as the artificial slammed a free ball into the online after Ahly did not transparent a pass.- AFP