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VIDEO: Etoile du Sahel defeat Al Ahly 1-0 in Confederation Cup
Youssef Mouihbi’s controversial first half penalty was enough to separate the two sides despite a fairly dominant performance from ESS. Sherif Ekramy had to make a series of fine saves to keep out Algerian striker Baghdad Boundjah, who would have scored on another day.
Etoile du Sahel XI: Aymen Mathlouthi; Ghazi Abdelrazzek (Iheb Msakni); Ammar Jemal; Hamza Lahmar; Alaya Brigui; Baghdad Boundjah; Alkhaly Bangoura (Aymen Trabelsi); Zied Boughattas; Marouen Tej; Mohamed Ben Amor; Youssef Mouihbi (Saddam Ben Aziza).
Al Ahly XI: Sherif Ekramy; Ahmed Fathi; Mohamed Naguib; Saad Samir, Sabry Raheel (John Antwi); Sherif Hazem; Saleh Gomaa; Hossam Ashour; Momem Zakaria; Walid Soliman (Amr Gamal); Emad Meteb (Ramadan Sobhy).
There was early controversy as Saleh Gomaa, who was making his debut after recently joining from ENPPI, appeared to be brought down by Mathlouthi in the 3rd minute of the match; however, the midfielder was booked for simulation despite some small contact from the Tunisian goalkeeper. Soon afterwards, Walid Soliman was booked for a high foot on Abdelrazzek.
ESS frontman Baghdad Boundjah had a few good chances. His powerful shot from a tight angle was well saved by Ekramy, however nothing came of the resultant corner. Shortly after, Boundjah was sent through again after a long clearance was poorly judged by the Al Ahly defence, but the Algerian striker spurned a golden opportunity which only produced a corner; again amounting to nothing.
After relentless pressure, the Tunisian side would eventually win a penalty after Boundjah was deemed to have been fouled in the box. Mouihbi would send Ekramy the wrong way to put ESS 1-0 to the good.
Despite a dominant performance from ESS, Al Ahly produced chances of their own. Raheel delivered an excellent cross, however it was too far in front of Zakaria for him to capitalise. Then Gomaa would find Fathi from range, who cut it back to Meteb, who lacked composure with his finish.
Boundjah again was in the thick of the action as he found himself one on one with Sherif Ekramy, but yet again the Egypt international was on hand to make a superb save on a frustrating day for the Algerian.
Al Ahly were able to get themselves into the game more in the second half, however Aymen Mathlouthi wasn’t really tested.
Although debutant Saleh Gomaa showed a lot of promise with his passing, he was also caught in possession on several occasions, leaving his side vulnerable on the counter attack numerous times.
ESS now leapfrog Al Ahly into first place of Group A with 9 points from four games, while Al Ahly remain on 7.