VIDEO: Al Ahly eliminated from CAF Champions League as El-Ashry’s Ahli Benghazi win in Cairo
Al Ahly were eliminated in the CAF Champions League round of 16 following a 2-3 loss in Cairo (2-4 on aggregate) to Tarek El-Ashry’s Al Ahli Benghazi.
Coming off a 1-0 loss in Benghazi, Mohamed Youssef’s side failed to turn things around during the second leg in Cairo.
The first 20 minutes filled with excitement ended up giving the Cairo giants the lead on the 38th minute mark as Mohamed Naguib guided a shot into the Benghazi goal.
However, following an error by Hossam Ashour a minute later, the Libyans managed to pull one back from the penalty spot to maintain their aggregate lead, which left Ahly needing at least two goals.
Al Ahly controlled the opening minutes of the first half and went into the second half needing to illustrate their prowess but were shocked by a beauty of a shot from Farag Mbarak from over 25 yards for Benghazi to edge 2-1.
Now needing three goals, the African champions went on full press. El-Sayed Hamdy came on in the 54th mimute for Hossam Ashour after a troublesome display for the captain but still Al Ahly strove to be more efficient in the final third to no avail.
In the 57th minute, Tarek El-Ashry’s side scored their third with a beautiful curling effort to Ekramy’s right hand side after sweeping aside two Ahly defenders.
Tactically deficient, the Egyptians started getting frustrated and tried hopeful passes to no avail. With the midfield lost to the Libyans and no efficient attacks, the game seemed already out of the grasp of the players.
Ahmed Shedid came on in the 65th instead of Sayed Moawad to help give fresh legs after a lackluster display from the veteran left-back, but that was not enough as Ahmed Fathi was sent off for a terrible tackle moments later.
Al Ahly scored the second through the head of Amr Gamal as Moussa Yedan assisted in the 77th minute. Rallying the troops, the Ahly squad tried to go for it in spirit; but aside from Gamal’s effort with his hand, the Egyptians failed to further guide the ball into the back of the net.
The game ended with much frustration to the Egyptians and a lot of jubilation to Ahmed Eid and the Libyans who played with their hearts and souls.
Al Ahly’s elimination means Gomaa will retire without the chance to defend the African crown in the group stages for the first time in five years.
Karim Abdoun is an avid Egyptian football fan and blogger. For more of his work you can visit his blog.
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