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Young Africans upset Al Ahly in CAF Champions League round of 32
Al Ahly started off the CAF Champions League with elevated spirits after claiming the African Super Cup by beating CS Sfaxien of Tunisia 3-2; however, those spirits were not enough to drive the players to win in Tanzania as they lost 1-0 to Young Africans on Saturday.
Al Ahly’s Starting XI:
Sherif Ekramy – Sayed Moawad – Mohamed Naguib – Saad El-Din Samir – Ahmed Fathi – Hossam Ashour – Shehab El-Din Ahmed – Rami Rabia – Moussa Yedan – Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ – Amr Gamal
Young African’s Starting XI:
Deogratius Munishi “Dida” – Mbuyu Twite – Oscar Joshua – Nadir Haroub “Cannavaro” – Kelvin Yondan “Cotton” – Frank Domayo “Chumvi” – Saimon Msuva – Haruna Niyonzima – Emmanuel Okwi – Mrisho Ngassa – Hamis Kizza
The match started with Young Africans possessing the ball and pressuring the African champions but with no real danger. Al Ahly in turn responded when Moussa Yedan crossed the ball for Amr Gamal, who was able pass from the defenders but was given a yellow card after falling in the box – which the referee ruled as a dive.
Young Africans’ desire to score was evident. Sherif Ekramy was Al Ahly’s most active player in the first half as he, along with Saad El-Din Samir, were successful in clearing more than one dangerous shot, keeping the match scoreless at half-time.
Young Africans began the second half as they did in the first – eager to score to help make the second leg in Cairo easier for them.
Mrisho Ngassa took advantage of Sayed Moawad’s mistake – a poor attempt at clearing the ball – to get a shot on target, but it only resulted in a corner.
It was then Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ who responded in a similar fashion, but his attempt was also cleared for a corner.
The match was halted briefly as there was some water bottles being thrown at Al Ahly players from the crowds.
The Tanzanian team remained persistent and eventually took the lead after 82 minutes. A corner was played and Nadir “Cannavaro” Haroub’s header announced the first and only goal of the match.
Ahmed Raouf came in for Amr Gamal in the dying minutes of the game in hopes of scoring an equalizer. He was immediately denied a penalty when the keeper seemed to have tackled him in the box.
Such a result is disappointing to Al Ahly fans – who were somehow relieved by the improved performance in the CAF Super Cup – following a series of unexpected losses in the Egyptian League.
It seems that Al Ahly are still in the “Transitional Phase” and Mohamed Youssef needs to start making plans for the second leg in Cairo on March 9th as soon as possible.