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Al Ahly put Champions League campaign on track

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Ahly celebrate their win. PHOTO/Al Ahly
  • Al Ahly picked their first win in Group A
  • They beat Cotonsport 3-0
  • The tie was a delayed Match Day One fixture

Al Ahly earned their first victory in Group A of the CAF Champions League after seeing off Cameroon’s Cotonsports 3-0 in Cairo on Saturday. This was a deferred match day one fixture, which had been postponed with Ahly involved in the FIFA Club World Cup last month.

Ahly had lost their opening match 1-0 to Sudan’s Al Hilal and drawn 2-2 with group leaders Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend. They needed to clinch victory at all costs to ensure they put their campaign back on track.

Mohamed Sherif and Ahmed Kendouci gave the Red Devils a 2-0 lead at halftime before teen midfielder Khalil Raafat scored the third deep into stoppage time in the second half. The victory took Ahly to four points, two shy of second placed Al Hilal and four behind group leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Cotonsport on the other hand suffered their third successive defeat and remains bottom of the table with no point.

Know must win match 

Action between Al Ahly

Action between Al Ahly and Cotonsport PHOTO/Al Ahly

Ahly, the record champions of Africa’s Premier League competition knew they had to win to put their campaign on track and it took them just 53seconds to get into the lead, Sherif breaking the deadlock with a fine finish from a Mohamed Taher cross.

Ahly continued dominating and were a threat infront of goal. They were denied by the bar minutes later when Hamdi Fathi struck from inside the box.

The home side was forced into a change with 10 minutes to the break, Sherif limping off and replaced by Shadi Hussein.

Five minutes to the break, Ahly pulled themselves a distance safe when Kendouci finished off an assist from Ali Maaloul with a fine header, his first goal for Ahly after joining them last month.

Ahly dominate second half 

Ahly

Ahly celebrate in the match. PHOTO/Al Ahly

Ahly dominated as much in the second half, with chances to score but couldn’t extend the tally. They however achieved a third goal to put the game to bed in the 92nd minute, Maaloul turning provider again, this time laying off for Khalil to score the third.

They will now shift their attention to the next weekend matches, where they will face off with Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa. Meanwhile, Cotonsport who have lost three straight matches will be away to Sudan’s Al Hilal in Omdurman.

There will be five midweek matches in the Champions League this weekend, with three more set for the weekend as the second half of the group phase starts to take shape.

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