VIDEO: Orlando Pirates score last-minute goal as Al-Ahly denied in South Africa
The first leg of the CAF Champions League final ended 1-1 with Al-Ahly opening the scoring in Orlando Stadium through a superb Abou-Treika free-kick before Orlando Pirates of South Africa equalized in the third minute of injury time.
Al-Ahly XI (4-4-1-1): Sherif Ekramy, Sherif Abdel-Fadil, Wael Gomaa [c], Mohamed Naguib, Sayed Moawad; Ahmed Fathi, Hossam Ashour, Abdullah El-Said, Walid Soliman; Mohamed Abou-Treika; Ahmed Abdel-Zaher.
Orlando Pirates XI: Meyiwa, Jele [c], Matlaba, Gcaba, Mahamutsa, Jali, Segolela, Manyisa, Bacela, Klate, Myeni.
The match started with a number of unsuccessful attempts from both teams until Al-Ahly’s Abdullah El-Said was fouled at the edge of the box. Abou-Treika, who announced he will retire once Ahly’s CAF Champions League and potential Club World Cup campaign concludes, stepped up and placed the ball perfectly into the top corner to give Al-Ahly the upper hand at Orlando Stadium in the 14th minute.
This early goal for the visitors definitely had its effect on the Pirates, the latter began attacking aimlessly and Al-Ahly’s defense was wide awake. On the other hand, Al-Ahly depended on counter attacks, the second seemed close when Walid Soliman had a good chance but his shot from distance went just wide.
Al-Ahly started strong in the second half. Ahmed Abdel-Zaher was able to score but Al-Ahly’s second goal was ruled out due to an offside claim. Replays however showed that Abdel-Zaher was onside.
This gave Orlando Pirates a push as they began attacking and were more dangerous than they were in the first half. Ekramy made a fantastic save in the 66th minute. Mohamed Youssef then substituted Dominique Da Silva for Abdel-Zaher right after.
Al-Ahly got another free-kick in a dangerous position for Treika to shoot, but he was not as successful as before with the wall blocking his effort.
The last 10 minutes were uneventful except for the subs: Rami Rabia for Abou-Treika and Shedid for Abdullah El-Said.
Four minutes of extra time were added on, and then out of nowhere, Thabo Matlaba struck a strong low shot from the edge of the box which went right into the net. Ekramy should have probably saved it, but it was not necessarily his fault as the Pirates left-back shook off Ahmed Fathi way too easily.
Overall, it was a great effort by Al Ahly’s coaching staff and Mohamed Youssef was able to lead this match the way he wanted. A 1-1 draw in South Africa is a good result for the African champions. They now go into the second leg with the away goal advantage and will hope to not allow themselves to concede against the Pirates in Cairo next weekend.
The second leg will be played on November 10th at the Arab Contractors Stadium in Cairo as Al-Ahly will be aiming for its 8th championship and a place at the Club World Cup that takes place in Morocco next month.
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