Match Report: Al Ahly 1-0 Difaa El Jadida – Abdallah El-Said goal sees Red Devils win first leg
The Egyptian giants began their Confederation Cup journey with a 1-0 win in the first leg against Moroccan side Difaa El Jadida on Sunday.
Al Ahly played a good pressure game on home soil against Difaa El Jadida, but with hastiness which resulted in less goals and lots of unnecessary fouls around the pitch.
Abdallah Said scored a scorcher after a one-two with Ahmed Raouf that caught the Moroccan defense napping. The two players combined well enough for Said to unleash a bullet on Laaroubi’s right side which whistled past him and rippled the net in the 20th minute after a long spell of possession exchanges between the two teams.
In the 22nd minute, Rami Rabia almost created a disaster for his side as he tried to dance his way across one of the opponent’s attackers as a back-pass was overpowered. Rami lost the ball, but Ekramy dealt with the resulting cross.
Al Ahly kept pressure on the midfield and defense to try and score a second as Ahmed Raouf and Moussa Yedan created chances. The two were constantly running around the field, with Moussa looking to link up with the attackers while Raouf tried to guide the ball into the feet of the on-rushing Ahly players. By the 26th minutes, Al Ahly committed 10 fouls to Difaa’s 5, signalling hastiness from the Egyptian side.
The second half started as the first, with Ahly pressuring to put in a second goal while the Moroccans tried to infiltrate the defense to no avail.
In the 57th minute, a lovely one-two pass – this time on the left – led to Shedid giving a delightful cross towards Gedo, who missed his header. Abdallah El-Said didn’t manage to reach the follow-through well enough as the keeper saved the ball on his near post from point-blank range.
In the 65th minute, Ahmed Shokry came on the field for Moussa Yedan to provide more width on the field. Youssef aimed for more goals by opening up the game. El-Sayed Hamdy’s introduction for Gedo confirmed this, but the goal to achieve this was not coming despite Ahly’s pressure. Shokry was later guilty of missing a good chance as his volley went high above goal in the 84th minute.
Difaa El-Jadida managed to get the better of the Egyptian defense on occasion, and in one case the Red Devils had to thank Sherif Ekramy for managing to catch the ball after a shot from the left side – after a player pulled past two Ahly defenders.
With the game almost dying down, Shehab came in to eliminate any midfield threats and consume the remaining minutes as it ended 1-0 to the Egyptians.
The second-leg will be played within two weeks time in Morocco, with the winner advancing to the group stages of the competition.
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