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Egyptian giants Ahly and Pyramids qualify for CAF CL group stage

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Al Ahly players celebrate their win. PHOTO/Ahly
Al Ahly players celebrate their win. PHOTO/Ahly
  • Defending champions Ahly thrashed St George of Ethiopia 7-0 on aggregate
  • Pyramids beat APR of Rwanda 6-0
  • They have made the group stages for the first time ever

Defending champions Al Ahly have led fellow Egyptian side Pyramids FC to the group stages of the CAF Champions League as the roster for the 2023 -24 season begins to take shape.

Defending champions Ahly stormed into the group stages after seeing off Ethiopian champions Saint George 4-0 on the night and 7-0 on aggregate.

The holders were in a class of their own, Mohamed Magdy Afsha and Mahmoud Kahraba scoring a brace each.

Having won the first leg played in Cairo last weekend, Ahly had one foot into the group stages and only needed to avoid defeat in the return tie to make it through. It took them just 10 minutes to completely take charge of the tie when Afsha broke the deadlock with a brilliantly taken freekick.

They continued dominating the duel and doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Kahraba scored from the penalty spot, taking responsibility himself after he had been appended inside the box.

Afsha sealed victory for Ahly 

Five minutes later, they virtually sealed the game when Afsha completed his brace with a simple tap in unmarked inside the box off a cross from the left.

In the second half, the Ethiopian champions attempted to put in a fight and claw back into the match, but they found themselves 4-0 down after quarter of an hour, with Kahraba also adding his second with a strong header from a cross on the right.

Meanwhile, Pyramids FC have qualified for the group stage of the CAF Champions League for the first time ever, after a stylish 6-1 victory over Rwandese champions APR. The first leg in Rwanda had ended 0-0, but P{yramids made the most of their home ground advantage to make a sound entrance into the money bracket.

Mostafa Fathi was the Pyramids star, scoring four goals with one more each from Walid El Karti and Mohamed Chibi.

Pyramids FC players celebrate one of their six goals against APR. PHOTO/PYRAMIDS

Pyramids FC players celebrate one of their six goals against APR. PHOTO/PYRAMIDS

Pyramids started well with patient build up and keenly looking for loopholes to break the deadlock. They did so in style in the 18th minute when Fathi scored a blinder of a goal, an unstoppable left foot volley into the top right corner.

Three minutes they made it 2-0 with another brilliant goal, this time El Karti hitting the back of the net with a low shot from the edge of the box, the keeper found in no man’s land.

Take a 2-0 lead to the break 

They took a 2-0 lead to the break, and having dominated, were confident of progressing.

Pyramids came off the break even hotter and Fathi completed his brace in the 56th minute, with a simple tap in after the APR side was caught flat footed off a counter attack.

Five minutes later the star was on a hattrick, when he headed the ball home beyond the keeper after his initial shot was blocked.

Chibi made it 5-0 in the 70th minute, slamming the ball home after Ramadhan Sobhi’s penalty came off the bar. Chibi completed the six-star performance with a brilliant left foot curved effort.

Victor Mbaoma scored from the penalty spot for APR, but it was too little too late.

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