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Al Ahly 90 Minutes Away From African Champions League Final

Al Ahly are 90 minutes away from a place in the CAF Champions League final as they take a 1-0 advantage into the second leg of their semifinal tie against Esperance de Tunis on Saturday.

The first leg in Rades last weekend saw the Egyptians power to victory thanks to the lone strike by Mohamed Sherif in the second half.

Esperance dominated most of the match, but a world-class performance from goalkeeper Mohamed El Shennawi, who saved two open chances, inspired the visitors to a major upset.

The Red Devils will now be looking to finish the job at Cairo’s Al Salam Stadium in their bid to win their record-tenth African champions league title.

“Our players were able to deal well with the [first leg match]. They gave everything they had and therefore we were able to achieve a positive result,” said Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane.

“However, I made sure to tell the players that we have not qualified yet to the final. Al Ahly and Esperance have a long history of games which prove that winning the first leg doesn’t mean that you’ll qualify to the final.

“We still have a game to play in Cairo and that is what captain Mahmoud El Khatib, Al Ahly’s president, said to the players after the game. Moreover, we respect Esperance and their head coach, as they are a big team in Africa.”

His Esperance counterpart, Moine Chaabani , believes trying to get a result in Cairo will be tough, but the prospect of a Champions League final is one his team will fight to the death for.

“Things are not decided from the first match unless it’s a big result. In the semifinal coaches will work to finish things in the first match, but it will be a tactical confrontation at the highest level, and for me the match is 180 minutes in Tunisia and Cairo,” Chaabani explained.

Having won the 2019/2020 CAF Champions League, the Egyptian giants will make it 21 continental titles if they manage to lift the CAF Champions League title this time around.

The match will kick off at Cairo’s Al Salam Stadium at 21h00 CAT on Saturday 26 June 2021.

The aggregate winners will progress into the final and face either Kaizer Chiefs or Wydad Casablanca in one –off clash on June 17 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco.

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