Al Ahly do it again in Rades
It took a penalty shootout, but Al Ahly defeated Tunisian champions Club Africain to advance to the CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinals.
Al-Ahly: (4-5-1) Sherif Ekramy, Saad Samir, Mohamed Naguib, Bassem Ali, Sabri Rahil, Hossam Ghaly, Hossam Ashour, Abdallah El-Said, Walid Soliman, Ramadan Sobhy, Peter Ebimobowei.
Club Africain: (4-5-1) Farouk Ben Mustapha, Hamza Agrebi, Bilel Iffa, Hichem Belkaroui, Yassine Mikari, Houcine Nater, Nader Ghandri, Mourad Hedhli, Tijani Belaid, Zouhaier Dhaouadi, Emed Méniaoui.
After falling to Al Ahly in Egypt 2-1, a 1-0 win for Club Africain would have seen the Tunisians advance, while a tie or Al-Ahly win would have secured a spot in quarterfinals for the Red Devils. Additionally, a 2-1 win for Club Africain would have seen the game go into a penalty shootout.
On seven minutes, Club Africain got off on the right foot after a through ball caught Saad Samir severely out of position. Captain Zouhaier Dhaouadi chipped Sherif Ekramy from 12 yards out to give the Tunisians an early 1-0 lead.
Africain sat back after the goal, with the manager seemingly content with absorbing pressure and occasionally hitting Al Ahly on the counter. The first half ended without any more dangerous attempts on goal for either team.
Fathi Mabrouk sent Emad Meteb on to replace Peter Ebimobowei to start the half.
The second half began as the first half did, with Club Africain attacking and Al Ahly desperately defending. Fullbacks Sabri Rahil and Bassem Ali both contributed to the early panic by repeatedly giving the ball away needlessly in the first ten minutes.
The mistakes began to take their toll on the Red Devils when, on 55 minutes, Sherif Ekramy was forced to deal with a long ball over the top of the Al Ahly defense which resulted in a leg injury to the reliable goalkeeper. Ahmed Adel replaced Ekramy in goal.
Al-Ahly began to settle in the half, and they soon got their reward. A beautiful team goal saw Hossam Ghaly set up Emad Meteb who made no mistake from 6 yards to equalize the game after 65 minutes.
The game continued as both teams pushed for a winner. Fathi Mabrouk replaced goalscorer halftime substitute Emad Meteb with youngster Mohamed Hany who only lasted two minutes on the pitch before receiving his marching orders. Hany committed a strong tackle on Africain player Hesham Belqaraway, who took offense before stomping on Hany’s head. Both players were sent off and the game continued with 10 men for both sides.
Ahly continued to defend mercilessly and hit the Tunisians on the counter attack, but every attack broke down on the final pass. Their wastefulness was punished when the Club Africain grabbed an equalizer on the 8th minute of stoppage time to send the game to penalties.
Ramadan Sobhy slotted home the final penalty to win the shootout 5-4 and send the Red Devils on to the quarterfinals.
First Club Africain goal:
Al Ahly goal:
Second Club Africain goal:
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