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VIDEO: Al-Ahly advance to CAF Champions League final on penalties
Al-Ahly advance to the CAF Champions League final for the second successive year after beating Coton Sport 7-6 on penalties in Gouna.
The African Champions were able to get the upper hand over Coton Sport as the penalty shootout ended 7-6 for Al-Ahly following a 1-1 draw in Gouna, and a similar scoreline in Cameroon a week ago to end the tie 2-2 on aggregate.
Overall it was a poor match by Al-Ahly, the harsh loss in Ghana was evident in the players’ performance today, especially Ahmed Fathi who was interviewed by JSC Sports after the match and said: “I am purposely talking about Ghana’s match because I want to tell people that we are even sadder than you.”
Mohamed Youssef, who recieved a red card in the 1st leg, watched from the stands.
Al-Ahly: Sherif Ekramy – Ahmed Fathi – Sherif Abdel-Fadil – Mohamed Naguib – Said Moawad – Shehab El-Din Ahmed – Rami Rabia – Abdullah El-Said – Mohamed Abou-Treika – Walid Soliman – Ahmed Abdel-Zaher.
Al-Ahly started the match off very well, scoring in the 3rd minute after Said Moawad crossed the ball for Abdullah El-Said to head it and give Ahly the advantage on the poor Gouna pitch.
Ahly had more of the ball but with no real effectiveness aside from Walid Soliman’s chance when he had a clear shot against the keeper, but it was a weak effort with his right foot.
Coton Sport gave Al-Ahly a hard time starting from the 35th minute. If it were not for Ekramy, the post and Abdel-Fadil, it would have been over for the Cairo giants, instead the first half ended 1-0.
The second half started with even better play by Coton and worse by Ahly. Coton Sport were attacking, pressuring Al-Ahly and it was only normal for Coton to score.
18-year-old Kada Yougouda was able to captialize on Emmanuel Mbongo’s low cross and the chaos in Ahly’s backline to score the equalizer.
No dangerous shots afterwards on either goals even though Al-Ahly was attacking more while Coton were playing more defensively. There were many missed passes especially on Al-Ahly’s side and the ball was simply not directed well enough.
The three substitutions made by Al Ahly were not of much help: El-Sayed Hamdi instead of Abdullah El-Said, Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ for Rami Rabia and Wael Gomaa for Sherif Abdel-Fadil.
90 Minutes ended with a 1-1 draw, which was the same result as the 1st leg (2-2 on aggregate) and the match went directly to penalty kicks.
To say that the players and everyone was nervous would be an understatement!
Al-Ahly were to shoot first and Abou-Treika, who is set to retire at the end of Ahly’s season, took the first penalty but Coton were saved by the post.
Ekramy (one of Al Ahly’s best players throughout the tournament) was able to save Coton’s third penalty shot which was taken by goalscorer Kada.
Six successful penalty shoots for each team and Ahmed Fathi managed to score the 7th before Coton’s Jacques Haman shot his high over the post to give Al-Ahly a ticket to South Africa.
Al-Ahly are off to its 10th final and will be aiming for its 8th trophy (second one consecutively) against Orlando Pirates of South Africa, who were able to advance over Espérence de Tunis yesterday after drawing 1-1 in Tunisia [1-1 on aggregate].
The 1st Leg of the final will be played on November 1-3 in South Africa and 2nd Leg will be played on November 8-10 in Egypt.
Ahly Info are a fan-based team covering the latest news surrounding Al-Ahly SC on KingFut.com. You can follow them on Twitter @AhlyInfo.