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Report: ES Sétif defeat Al Ahly on penalties to win CAF Super Cup
In a showdown between two of Africa’s best clubs, ES Sétif win its third CAF Super Cup after besting Al Ahly in penalties.
Al Ahly appeared to have ignited the excitement of Egyptian fans who made the 3000 kilometer journey to Blida, Algeria, when a last-ditch effort saw Emad Meteb equalize for Al Ahly in the closing seconds of stoppage time. But during a standoff in penalties that could have crowned either team champions, ES Sétif players flooded the pitch in celebration after Bassem Ali saw his penalty saved by Sofiane Khedairia.
Al Ahly XI: Ekramy; Bassem Ali, Naguib, Saad Samir, Hussein El-Sayed; Ashour, Ghaly; Abdullah El-Said, Trezeguet, Soliman; Ahmed Abdel-Zaher.
ES Setif XI: Sofiane Khedairia, Amine Megateli, Kheireddine Laaroussi, Farid Mellouli, Akram Djahnit, El Hedi Belameiri, Benjamin Ze Ondo, Toufik Zerara, Ahmed Gasmi, AbdelMalek Ziaya
In the early minutes following kick off, each club appeared to be taking a cautious strategy, with the majority of play occurring at mid-field. In the 9th minute, the Black Eagles broke through with the first threat of the game that went out for a corner and continued to pester the Reds throughout with dangerous counter attacks.
The Red Castle allowed Es Sétif several close free kicks throughout much of the first half that were quickly cleared by the defense.
Each team appeared to wake up from their slow start, but Es Sétif’s pressure nearly saw them open the scoring in the 38th minute when El Hedi Belameiri narrowly missed the goal after after Saad Samir sliced a ball into the box.
Trezeguet quickly responded to Sétif’s chance with one of his own, but he was denied by the Black Eagle’s goalkeeper Sofiane Khedairia on a close chance.
In the closing minutes of the first half, the action began to cool off as the referee blew the final whistle in a scoreless opening half.
The Red’s entered the first half more energized after the break, which led to Al Ahly’s first chance of the match, when a Walid Soliman found himself one-on-one with Khedairia who made a spectacular save to deny Egyptian winger.
Moments later, Soliman appeared to have blacked out after violently colliding with Gambonian midfielder Ze Ondo on a challenge. Soliman remained in the match however.
The breakthrough for the Black Eagles finally came in the 70th minute, when Bassem Aly made a crucial mistake that allowed Benyattou to send his cross that found Abdelmalek Ziaya who sent his point-blank chance into the goal.
The late opening goal saw a spark ignite in the Reds with only 15 minutes remaining in the match. Ahly continues to pressure and harass the Sétif’s back line, including a number of chances in the box.
In the 94th minute of stoppage time, and their title on the line, Emad Meteb pounced on a scramble outside of the Sétif goal, notching the equalizer with seconds remaining in stoppage time. Meteb’s heroics gave the Red’s an opportunity to reassume their crown as the match went straight to penalties after 90 minutes.
As was the case in the second half, the penalties round also came down to the last moment, but unfortunately for Al Ahly, they would not repeat their second half heroics.
The first five shooters for each side managed to best the opposing goalkeeper in a stalemate of a penalties round.
During the sixth round, Es Sétif midfielder Mourad Delhoum snuck his shot in past Ekramy, giving the Black Eagles a 5-6 advantage over the Red’s.
With the match and the title on the line, Bassem Ali stepped up to take the final shot before heading into the next round of penalties. But Khedairia went the right way to save the medium-height shot to his left. The Red’s bid for a third consecutive title immediately faded with the missed strike.