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CAF Champions League: Al Ahly Not Taking Guinea’s Giant Killers Horoya Lightly

Al Ahly not taking lightly their game against giant killers Horoya AC.

Egyptian Champions Al Ahly will be looking to build on their good run of form when they face Guinea’s Horoya in this year’s 2018 CAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg clash in Conakry today.

The Guinean minnows overcame impossible odds to finish second in a group that had former African Champions Wydad Casablanca and Mamelodi Sundowns. They now face another near impossible task of ousting on-form Egyptian heavyweights Al Ahly who finished top of group A ahead of rivals Esperance de Tunis.

On paper, the encounter looks like a simple victory for Al Ahly, but the Guinean side has this year proved they are not to be taken lightly and have what it takes to upset any team on the continent.

The held both Wydad Casablanca and Mamelodi Sundowns to draws in Guinea before securing another crucial 0-0 draw in South Africa to progress three points ahead of the 2016 Champions Sundowns.

For Al Ahly, this year’s continental campaign hasn’t been a walk in the park. The Red Devils won just a single point from the opening two games which forced their coach to resign. They, however, regrouped under the guidance of ex-TP Mazembe gaffer Patrice Carteron who has a reputation of doing whatever it takes to build a title-winning team and won the remaining four games to finish top of the group.

Despite their pedigree on the continent and current form, Al Ahly head Coach Patrice Carteron promises his side will not take their opponents lightly considering they’ve already caused a few upsets this season.
“We respect all opponents, but all indications say that we will be facing a difficult and strong opponent, especially as they reached the quarters alongside Morocco’s Wydad, while South Africa’s Sundowns were eliminated from the same group,” Carteron told the press after the team landed in Guinea.

“All expectations were that Wydad and Sundowns would be the ones to qualify from their group, but Horoya succeeded in booking a place in the quarters and that proves that we will be facing a strong team.”

“I followed Horoya’s games in group stages. We have an experienced team to a great extent, we play games according to our opponents and we have to be at our best tomorrow.”

“We are looking forward to achieving a positive result away in the first leg to make our mission easier in the return match. Al Ahly always plays their matches to win,” he added.

For Horoya, this is their toughest challenge yet and head Coach Victor Zvunka promised his side will be aiming to keep a clean sheet at home which gives the visiting team an advantage in the second leg.

“We are working on preparing our side well for this challenge. We will do our best to qualify to the semi-finals,” Victor Zvunka told journalists in the pre-game press conference.

“The first leg match is the most important. It is vital that we don’t concede any goals when we face Al Ahly.”

Al Ahly might be the eight-time CAF Champions League winners but Horoya will be a test to see whether they have what it takes to go all the way.

The second leg will take place in Egypt eight days later on Saturday, 22 September in Egypt.

(Image from Al Ahly twitter)

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