Egypt’s Al Ahly win record-extending 11th African Champions League title
Egyptian international Mohamed Abdelmoneim flicked home a 78th minute header as Al Ahly came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Wydad Athletic Club in Casablanca on Sunday and clinch a record-extending 11th TotalEnergies CAF Champions League title.
The Red Devils won the tie with a 3-2 aggregate score, having recorded a 2-1 victory at home in the first leg in Cairo last weekend.
Abdelmoneim made a brilliant run to the near post, flicking home an Ali Maaloul corner to send the small crowd of Ahly fans into pandemonium at
With the win, Al Ahly wiped the tears from last season when they lost the title to the Moroccan giants 2-0 in the single-legged final at the same venue.
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Before Abdelmoneim’s goal, Wydad were headed for a 1-0 win courtesy of Yahya Attiat Allah’s goal and that would have been enough to see them retain the title on the away goal rule, becoming the first-ever Moroccan side to win back-to-back titles.
But, it was the Egyptian side which would leave the Stade Mohamed V Complex with smiles on their faces and the trophy in their hands.
It was a typical feisty North African derby, with chances few, but the battle immense especially in midfield.
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Ayoub El Amloud had a sniff at goal for Wydad in the 13th minute when he made a daunting run from his right-back position, drifting into the box, but his eventual shot was tame and an easy collection for the returning Ahly custodian Mohamed El Shenawy.
They however broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when Attiat Allah’s freekick from the right curled all the way into the far right. Mohamed Ounnajem’s run towards the ball had thrown the entire defence off guard, allowing Shenawy to be easily beaten.
The tie continued to be dominated by midfield battles with chances fading off.
In the second half, Ahly showed their intention by going full attacking, with Ahmed Abdelkader and Mohamed Magdy Afsha coming in for Marwan Attia and Hussein Elshahat who had been closely marked out during the game.
Ahly forced Wydad to play in their own half but were limited in their chances moving forward. For their efforts, they were rewarded 12 minutes to time when Maaloul’s brilliant delivery was flicked home by Abdelmoneim.
The Egyptians would have doubled their tally in added time when Abdelkader won the ball behind the defence, but from a tight angle couldn’t beat Wydad keeper Youssef El Motie who pulled a brilliant double block.
Despite pressure from Wydad with some nerve-wracking set pieces and drop balls, Ahly managed to see off the result and reclaim their title.
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