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2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

CAF CL: Star-stunned Al Ahly Held off by A Spirited Horoya

Guinea’s Horoya AC hold off Al Ahly at he Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry.

Al Ahly’s coach Patrice Carteron held his head in disbelief at the end of the Red Devils’ first-leg 2018 CAF Champions League quarterfinal clash with Guinea’s Horoya AC at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry.

The game started at a furious pace with Al Ahly‚ as expected‚ pressing high to nullify Horoya’s effort to rapidly circulate the ball. It was a fascinating tactical battle although‚ at times‚ a little predictable.

As a result, there was a lot of possession turn over and not enough in the way of scoring chances.

The first real opportunity came after 22 minutes when Horoya’s goalkeeper Germain Berthe made a save from Ali Maaloul‚ who had done well to bypass the defense and put himself into a shooting position.

But the Egyptian international failed to get any real power behind his shot.

On the half-hour mark‚ Maaloul hit a wild effort from a tight angle well off target and eight minutes later center back Saad Ali rose unchallenged to head a free-kick narrowly wide.

Horoya’s only chance of the first half fell to Ocansey Mandela in between the Al Ahly defenders but his first touch let him down and the opportunity slipped.

On the stroke of half-time‚ Islam Mohareb was thwarted by Hamed Mauris and Aboubaar Camara.

After the break‚ Horoya should have gone ahead catching Al Ahly not yet switched back on as substitute Brefo Mensah made an opportunity for Bolaji Sakni‚ who scuffed at his shot and never tested Mohamed Elshenawy.

But he did much better in the 53rd minute when his shot deflected off Abou Camara and was just inches off target with Elshenawy rooted to his line and well beaten.

As the half progressed, Al Ahly began to create the better chances with Salah Mohsen finding himself with a host of opportunities but couldn’t convert any.

In the 78th minute, Mohareb was set through on goal and in a one-on-one situation but the goalkeeper triumphed as Camara was unable to beat him from five yards.

Four minutes later, Horoya’s Bolaji Sakni picked up a loose ball from a Mandela’s free-kick he turned and shot but Elshenawy once again saved superbly.

Hossam Ashour found himself with acres of space inside the 5 -yard box towards the end of the game but could not believe his misfortune as Berthe saved from point-blank range. Then it was Horoya’s turn to stand and stare as Elshenawy acrobatically punched away a powerful Mandela shot from inside the 18-yard area.

Patrice Carteron has previously said that Red Devils need to work on their finishing inside the 5-yard box, a point he reiterated as he left the stadium shaking his head.

How they lined-up:

Horoya XI: Germain Berthe; Abou Mangue, Aboubacar Gal Camara, Hamed Marius Assoko, Jean-Noel Lingani; Abdoulaye Camara, Seyei Sebe Baffour, Mohamed Wonkoye, Daouda Camara, Ocansey Mandela; Bolaji Simeon Sakin.

Al Ahly XI: Mohamed El-Shennawy; Ahmed Fathi, Salif Coulibaly, Saad Samir, Ali Maaloul; Hossam Ashour, Hesham Mohamed; Walid Soliman, Nasser Maher, Islam Mohareb; Walid Azarou.

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