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Al Ahly Beat Esperance To Book CAF Champions League Final Spot

Al Ahly defeated Esperance de Tunis 3-0 in the 2020/21 CAF Champions League semi-final second-leg match at the Al-Salaam Stadium on Saturday night.

As a result, the Egyptian champions advanced to the final after winning the tie 4-0 on aggregate and they will take on South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs in the final next month.

The Red Eagles dominated proceedings from the onset, but despite their superior possession stakes they struggled to create many clear cut chances in front of goal, largely due to poor passing in the final third.

Al Ahly first decent effort on goal only came in the 17th minute when Mohamed Sherif a left-wing cross from Hamdi Fathi, but his six-yard header was brilliantly saved by the keeper.

Pitso Mosimane’s side won a penalty on the 38th minute when Mohamed Taher was felled by Ilyes Chetti in the area. Ali Maaloul stepped up and made no mistake from 12-yards out, 1-0.

Esperance were reduced to ten men when Chetti was sent off for a reckless studs-up challenge on Taher.

The Blood and Gold struggled to create openings in the final third and were often left frustrated, as they failed to force Mohamed El Shennawi into any difficult saves in the opening 45 minutes.

The half ended 1-0 in favour of Al Ahly.

The game continued in the same fashion after the restart and finally Al Ahly made their pressure tell in the 56th minute with Mohamed Sherif firing powerfully home after a defence-splitting pass from Afsha, 2-0.

The Red Devils were on fire and placed the game to bed on the hour mark when Hussein El-Shahat latched onto another pinpoint long ball from Afsha to race clear and dink the ball over Ben Cherifia.

El Shennawi made a brilliant save to keep the scores at 3-0 showing the quickest of reactions to get down smartly to his left before getting himself up quickly to thwart the effort at the feet of the Esperance attackers who were waiting to pounce.

Hamdi Fathi nearly added a fourth in the 81st but the Al Ahly winger smashed his effort against the woodwork, as the Red Eagles held on for an impressive victory.

How they lined-up:

Ahly: Mohamed El Shennawi; Akram Tawfiq, Badr Benoun, Ayman Ashraf, Ali Maaloul, Aliou Dieng, Amr El Sulaya, Hamdi Fathi, Taher Mohamed Taher, Magdi Afsha, Mohamed Sherif

Esperance: Moez Ben Cherifia, Hamdi Nagguez, Abdelkader Bedrane, Khalil Chemmam, Ilyes Chetti, Fousseny Coulibaly, Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane, Abdelraouf Benguit, Hamdou Elhouni, Anice Badri, William Togui

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