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Al Ahly defeat Young Africans through last gasp Abdallah El-Said goal


Photo: Al Ahly Official Website

A last-minute header by Abdallah El-Said gave Al Ahly a 2-1 win over , to send the Red Devils to the group stage.

Starting XIs:

Al Ahly: Sherif Ekramy; Ahmed Fathi, Rami Rabia, Ahmed Hegazy, Sabri Rahil; Hossam Ashour, , Abdallah El-Said, Momen Zakaria, Ramadan Sobhi; Amr Gamal.

Young Africans: Deo Munish, Oscar Joshua, Vincent Bossou, Juma Mnyamani, Nadir Ali, Thabani, Kamusoko, Deus Kaseke, Haruna Niyonzima, Amissi Tambwe, Donald Ngoma, Matheo Simon

The first leg ended 1-1 in Tanzania, courtesy of an Amr Gamal goal and an Ahmed Hegazy own goal. Al Ahly came in knowing that a win or a scoreless draw would be enough to secure their passage into the group stages.

The Red Devils almost broke the deadlock after seven minutes, but a fantastic save by the Young Africans goalkeeper kept Momen Zakaria from giving Al Ahly an early lead. 13 minutes later, Momen should have challenged the goalkeeper again after a delightful team move, but he sent his shot high over the crossbar.

Al Ahly continued to control possession, with Young Africans occasionally challenging on the counter attack. The first half ended 0-0, with the brunt of the dangerous chances taking place in the first 20 minutes of the encounter.

Al Ahly started off the second half just as they hoped. An Ahmed Fathi corner kick was met by a Hossam Ghaly header, which beat the Young Africans goalkeeper, to give the home team a 1-0 lead.

Eight minutes later, the Red Devils almost got their second. Another great Ahmed Fathi cross found Amr Gamal, whose header went just over the bar. In the 64th minute, Martin Jol made his first substitution, as Walid Soliman replaced Momen Zakaria.

After 67 minutes, Young Africans found their equalizer. A cross from Ahly’s left flank met an unmarked Donald Ngoma, whose glancing header left Sherif Ekramy stranded. Martin Jol made his second change minutes later, sending Malick Evouna on for Amr Gamal.

Ahmed Fathi continued his onslaught of great crosses, providing service to Ahmed Hegazy and Hossam Ghaly in quick succession, but neither player was able to turn the ball into the net. After 87 minutes, Jol made his third and final change. Emad Meteb replaced Sabri Rahil, and Walid Soliman slotted into left back.

The change almost paid immediate dividends, as Soliman and Malick Evouna linked up to provide the Gabonese striker with two great chances to break the deadlock, but he was expertly thwarted by the Young Africans defenders and goalkeeper both times.

The referee signaled for five minutes of stoppage time, and Al Ahly pushed for their winner, while Young Africans stalled in an attempt to hold out for a penalty shootout. The tactic almost worked.

Walid Soliman fired in a cross, and Abdallah El-Said sent a booming header into the bottom corner of the Young Africans goal, in what proved to be the last kick of the game, sending the home fans into rapture.

Mohaned Ghanem, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Avid supporter of all things Egypt, especially Al Ahly. Gooner.

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