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Al Ahly reach group stage after goalless draw with Bidvest Wits


Photo: Al

Al Ahly held to a goalless draw on Sunday to qualify for the group stage with a 1-0 aggregate victory.

The Red Devils had claimed a narrow 1-0 victory over the South African side in the first leg at the El-Salam Stadium last week before opting for a more defensive formation in the second leg to secure draw at Johannesburg.

Al Ahly failed to create clear-cut scoring chances as they played cautiously and tried to maintain a solid defensive shape during the first half.

Only three minutes into the game, Al Ahly had a penalty appeal turned down when Amr Gamal went down in the box.

Bidvest were close to taking the lead on the stroke of half-time through Buhle Mkhwanazi’s header but Al Ahly keeper Sherif Ekramy pulled off a brilliant save from close range before Gabadinho Mhango’s shot hit the woodwork.

Injured Walid Soliman made way for Ahmed Hamoudi in the 70th minute, before Rami Rabia and Saleh Gomaa came on to replace Abdallah EL-Said and Amr El-Sulaya, respectively.

Meanwhile, Bidvest kept pushing forward for a goal to get themselves back into the tie, but Al Ahly stood firm with Ekramy blocking Eleazar Rodgers’ header in the 82nd minute.

Gamal had a chance to kill off the tie after a fine individual effort but his left-footed finish slammed against the post three minutes from time.

The hosts failed to score in the stoppage time as the record eight-time African champions advanced to the 16-team group stage.

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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