African Champions League: Al Ahly Becomes 11th Time Champions

Just like Man City were crown European Champions on Saturday night after beating Inter Milan, Al-Ahly on the African continent also gave themselves the honors too on Sunday night. Africa’s most successful football club won the African Champions league, extending the record to 11th continental crown.

A 1-1 draw, with a late leveller on the night, handed them a 3-2 aggregate win over Wydad.

The sides had met in the same fixture last year, when Wydad claimed the title for a third time.

This year, the Egyptians travelled to Morocco with a 2-1 lead from the first leg.

To say the North African derby was a cagey affair, however, would be an understatement.

Prior to kick-off, Wydad supporters queued for hours outside the Mohamed V stadium in Casablanca.

The 60,000-strong crowd provided their side with raucous support from the get-go, whistling deafeningly when Al Ahly were on the ball and roaring their players forward when they regained possession.

Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema was put under extreme pressure after making decisions – several players from either side even made physical contact with him on multiple occasions.

Wydad finally broke the tense deadlock in the 27th minute thanks to a goal from Moroccan international full-back Yahia Attiyat Allah.

The 28-year-old leathered an in-swinging free-kick across the face of the goal and, with the oncoming sea of Wydad players, the opposing goalkeeper was caught flat-footed.

The hosts continued to push to close out the half, but could not add to their advantage.

An improbable task
Al Ahly started the second half knowing it would be mandatory to score a goal – drawing level on the night would make them champions while losing 2-1 would still send the match to extra time.

Nonetheless, Al Ahly’s Percy Tau, Hussein El Shahat and Mahmoud Kahraba, who compose perhaps Africa’s most talented frontline, struggled to threaten the Wydad goal.

The task seemed improbable, especially considering that no team had scored an away goal in the second leg of a Champions League final since 2014.

But, just when it seemed like all hope was lost for the Red Devils, an unexpected hero emerged.

In the 78th minute, Mohamed Abdelmonem, Al Ahly and Egypt’s star centre-half ran on to an in-swinging corner kick and flicked the ball into the far corner of the net.

The 24-year-old, who was voted man of the match, dedicated his achievement to his team-mates.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button