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LIVE: Al Ahly vs Zesco United – 2016 CAF Champions League
Al Ahly host Zambian outfit Zesco United on Friday evening, as the Egyptians look to push for a top two spot in Group A of the 2016 CAF Champions League.
Manager Martin Jol is under pressure following a string of disappointing results, only punctuated by a hard fought 0-1 win away to Wydad Casablanca in late July.
The Red Devils will be looking to put the disappointment of losing 3-1 to bitter rivals Zamalek in the 2016 Egypt Cup final, as the Whites defeated Al Ahly in the domestic cup final by a two-goal margin for the second consecutive year.
Their opponents, five-time Zambian Premier League champions Zesco United, defeated the Cairo-based side in their earlier encounter, in the first round of group stage matches.
However, the club – owned by Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation – have struggled domestically in 2016, sitting 5th in the league standings with more than half of the season gone.
Al Ahly will be gunning for a win on home soil to keep their rejuvenated qualification hopes alive, as the business end of the competition approaches.
FT: Al Ahly 2-2 Zesco United. Stay tuned for our match report and post match coverage..
93′: Zesco ‘keeper Banda Jacob is down, clutching his knee.
92′: Mohsen shoots wide after great work from Ali Maaloul.
90′: Zesco are defending in numbers now…
88′: Fathy shoots into the stands from a promising position.
85′: GOAL! METEB LEVELS IT! Al Ahly 2-2 Zesco United!
85′: Five minutes plus stoppage time to go. Will Al Ahly find a way back into this?
83′: Samir does well to clean up at the back, before Al Ahly charge up the field to win a corner.
79′: Meteb is bundled over in midfield, and Al Ahly will look to swing in the set-piece.
77′: Nedved fires over, after Zesco clear the ball poorly.
76′: Karim Nedved replaces Sabry Rahil. It seems Maaloul will slot into the left-back position.
75′: Al Ahly are pushing forward now, with fifteen minutes to go.
71′: Jesse Were clears Meteb’s effort off the line!
67′: Marwan Mohsen replaces captain Hossam Ghaly.
65′: Zesco United make a couple of substitutions, as Marwan Mohsen prepares to come on for Al Ahly.
60′: With the score still 1-2 to Zesco United, the hosts are in serious danger of exiting the competition. A loss today could gift qualification to Wydad Casablanca should the latter avoid defeat on Sunday.
SUB: Emad Meteb replaces Amr Gamal with 55 minutes gone.
54′: The fans are cheering Al Ahly on, but the players still haven’t managed to take the match by the scruff of the neck.
52′: Abdallah hits a Fathy cross on the volley, but the attempt is off-target.
49′: Gamal’s attempted cross flies into the stands.
46′: Al Ahly kick off the second half, and they’ll need to improve on their first half performance if they want to emerge with a positive result tonight.
HT: Al Ahly 1-2 Zesco United.
41′: Amr Gamal has a free header, but his effort is poor and misses the target completely.
38′: Corner for Al Ahly. The ensuing delivery is headed wide by Ghaly.
35′: Jesse Were restores Zesco’s lead! The striker showed good skills to sidestep a challenge from Saad Samir, and slotted home before Rami Rabia could block the shot.
30′: GOAL! RAMI RABIA EQUALISES FROM A CORNER!
27′: Rahil feints well, but his shot is deflected and falls to the Zesco goalkeeper, who is fould by Gamal.
24′: Captain Hossam Ghaly’s shot on goal is embarrassingly poor, and goes comfortably wide.
22′: Maaloul goes awfully close with a free-kick, but it’s still Al Ahly 0-1 Zesco United.
20′: The Zambians are pushing out of their half for the first time since the opener, but Al Ahly are still raring to go forward.
17′: Zesco scramble at the back to clear the danger, as the hosts continue their onslaught.
14′: Amr Gamal fails to connect with a header, and the ball goes harmlessly wide.
10′: Al Ahly are looking to hit back. It’s 0-1 to Zesco as things stand.
5′: Zesco take the lead! Jesse Were took advantage of poor defending to head home from a cross.
1′: Zesco win an early corner, but Al Ahly clear.
0′: We’re underway!
Al Ahly XI: Ahmed Adel; Ahmed Fathi, Ramy Rabia, Saad Samir, Sabry Rahil; Hossam Ashour, Hossam Ghaly; Momen Zakaria, Abdallah El-Said, Ali Maaloul; Amr Gamal.
Read our expertly-crafted match preview here.