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Al Ahly Grab First-leg Advantage Against Esperance

Al Ahly SC secured a 1-0 win over Esperance de Tunis in the 2020/2021 CAF Champions League semifinal first-leg game at the Stade Olympique de Rades on Saturday.

The win saw the Egyptians giants grab a 1-0 lead on aggregate ahead of the second-leg match which will be played in Cairo next weekend.

The start of the game was delayed by fifty minutes, after clashes between security forces and Esperance fans inside and outside the stadium.

It was all Al Ahly for large parts of the opening exchanges, as the likes of Taher Mohamed Taher and Mohamed Sherif were causing a number of problems for the hosts.

Sherif should have given Al Ahly the lead in the 24th minute, the midfielder did well to create space for himself but ended up skewing his effort well wide of the target.

Moïne Chaâbani’s men were on the back foot throughout the opening 45 minutes but whenever they managed to sneak through, the Al Ahly defence were on hand to clear, most notably Abdelraouf Benguit’s last ditch challenge on Ayman Ashraf.

Al Ahly, however, failed to take advantage of their dominance, as defender Akram Tawfiq blasted over from six-yards out just before the halftime break.

After a barren spell in the second half, Al Ahly eventually broke the deadlock in the 67th minute, as Mohamed Sherif did well to utilize Aliou Dieng through pass with his initial effort coming from goal post but he made  no mistake on the rebound.

The lead could have been doubled in the 82nd minute, Sherif turned provider to thread a pass to Hussein El-Shahat, but the midfielder blasted over from 12-yards out.

Chaâbani threw on the likes of Nassim Ben Khalifa and Sameh Derbali in the hopes of grabbing a late equaliser and it was Khalifa who went closest as his header almost crashed against the upright in stoppage time.

The two teams could not score in the closing stages of the encounter and ultimately, Al Ahly emerged 1-0 winners on the night.

How they lined up:

Esperance: Moez Ben Cherifia ; Hamdi Nagguez, Abdelkader Bedrane, Mohamed Ali Yacoubi, Ilyes Chetti, Fousseny Coulibaly, Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane, Abdelraouf Benguit, Hamdou El-Houni, Khalid Abdul-Basit, William Togui

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


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