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VIDEO: Pirates down Al Ahly in Johanessburg
Al Ahly were dealt a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.
Despite having their fair share of possession, the Red Devils succumbed to a second defeat in less than a week – with Thamsanqa Gabuza scoring the lone goal of the game.
Orlando Pirates XI: Ovono; Mahamutsa, Gcaba, Nyauza, Matlaba; Masalesa, Ntshumayelo, Makola, Myeni; Gabuza, Erasmus.
Al Ahly XI: Ekramy; Hany, Samir, Naguib, Rahil; Fathi, Ashour Zakaria, El-Said, Sobhy; Antwi.
Al Ahly started the game on the back foot – conceding early on when Gabuza latched onto a cross from the left to finish past Ekramy.
Ramadan Sobhy tried hard to net the equaliser for the Reds, playing the ball to Ahmed Fathi on the edge of the box who hit his shot over the bar.
Makola came close to making it 2-0 with 20 minutes on the clock, but his well-placed free-kick was saved by Ekramy.
The post denied Fathi Mabrouk’s men from equalising towards the end of the half, as Momen Zakaria’s strike slammed against the woodwork before being cleared by the Bucs’ defence.
The start of the second half was similar to the first, as Orlando’s Sifiso Myeni saw his volley go inches over the bar.
Abdullah El-Said attempted a shot from distance minutes later; however – similar to Myeni – his shot went over the bar.
Substitute Malick Evouna brought some much needed urgency to the Reds’ game – using his pace to go through on goal and play the ball to Ramadan, who was halted by the Bucs.
Evouna was once again at the centre of things with 70 minutes on the clock, going through on goal before seeing his finish cleared by Gcaba.
Despite their endeavours, Al Ahly were unable to find the equaliser, meaning they need to win by two goals or more in order to reach the final for the second year running.