21 July 2024 11:18 AM

Ahly clinch 12th CAF Champions title after win against Esperance

Saturday، 25 May 2024 - 09:35 PM

Defending champions Ahly claimed a record-extending 12th title after beating Tunisia's Esperance, 1-0 on Saturday, in the second leg of the CAF Champions League final at Cairo International Stadium.

Esperance midfielder Roger Aholou inadvertently scored an early own goal, deflecting a header from Ahly's defender Rami Rabia just four minutes into the match, giving the hosts a well-deserved lead.

Capitalizing on their home advantage and the goalless draw in the first leg in Tunisia, Ahly ensured victory over their Tunisian opponents.

The African title marks the eighth title for Swiss coach Marcel Koller in less than two years with Cairo giants.

The Reds have already set the record of reaching five straight Champions League finals and stretched their unbeaten run to a record of 22 games.

Striker Wessam Abou Ali came close to doubling the score with a powerful strike from inside the area.

After securing the early lead, Ahly shifted their focus to a defensive approach, allowing Esperance to control possession and occasionally attempting counterattacks.

In the 30th minute, South African winger Percy Tau received an assist from right-back Mohamed Hany and sent a strike, narrowly missing the target.

Five minutes before halftime, Hussein El Shahat could have killed the game after receiving a brilliant assist from Emam Ashour but his poor effort was blocked by the defence.

Esperance struggled to carve-out spaces as Ahly sat back on defence to protect their slim lead.

The Tunisians improved after the break and coach Miguel Cardoso made several substitutions to boost his attack.

Their only real chance came in the 62nd minute, when winger Yan Sasse unleashed a powerful strike from outside the box that went inches next to the post.

Ahly coach Marcel Koller made a substitution in the 67th minute, replacing Tau with Malian midfielder Alio Dieng to bolster the midfield and contain Esperance's dominance in that area during the second half.

It was Dieng's first appearance since January, following a knee surgery.

In the closing minutes, substitute Mohamed Magdi Afsha attempted a set piece from outside the area, but his shot was blocked by the crossbar.

After five minutes of injury time, the referee blew the final whistle, confirming Ahly's victory and their 12th CAF Champions League title.


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