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Late goal leads Al Ahly to Arab Club Championship semis

Al Ahly defeated Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey 2-1, behind late goals from Saleh Gomaa and Amr Barakat, to advance to the semifinals of the Arab Club Championship.

Al Ahly XI: El-Shennawy; Bassem Ali, Rabia, Naguib, H. El-Sayed; Ghaly, Akram Tawfik, Hamoudi, Saleh Gomaa, Ajayi; Azarou.

Al Ahly dominated the first half and should have put at least one goal away in the opening 45. In the 30th minute, Walid Azaro almost got his first goal for the Red Devils, but his shot was cleared off the line by an Algerian defender at the last second.

Hamoudi could have put one away in the 37th, but his shot went just wide of the post. The team’s went in the tunnel tied 0-0 at half, with Al Ahly feeling as if they should have been ahead.

Walid Azaro was left ruing his luck when he sent a sitter over the goal in the opening minute of the second half. NA Hussein Dey scored in the 63rd minute to put the pressure firmly on the home squad.

Four minutes after the opener, Emad Meteb was sent on in place of Akram Tawfik. Al Ahly won a penalty in the 72nd minute, after Azaro was fouled. Saleh Gomaa made no mistake, and the Egyptians had their equalizer with 15 minutes to spare, but they needed a winner.

It wouldn’t come until the 3rd minute of the allotted six minutes of stoppage time. Emad Meteb’s brilliantly deft heel-flick found recently introduced Amr Barakat who slotted home past the keeper.

The 2-1 win sent Al Ahly SC on to the Arab Club Championship semifinals as the best 2nd-placed-team. Al Faisaly won Group A.

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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