Walid Azaro was all smiles after his hat-trick lifted Ahly to the African Champions League final with a 6-2 semi-final thrashing of Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel on Sunday, breaking his duck after a barren run in the domestic league.
The Moroccan frontman, who joined Ahly in the summer, has come in for fierce criticism from the team's demanding fans for being profligate in recent Egyptian league games.
However, he repaid the faith of coach Hossam El-Badry with clinical finishing at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium as Ahly advanced with a 7-4 aggregate win, scoring with two carbon-copy headers and a simple finish either side of the break.
"I thank God for my performance against Etoile," Azaro told BeIN Sports after the game.
"I do my best in all games and, just like any other striker, I have the desire to score every match but I was not lucky in the majority of those games.
"I thank my teammates who helped me shine against Etoile," he added.
Ahly reached their first Champions League final since lifting the last of their record eight titles in 2013. They will meet Morocco's Wydad Casablanca in a two-legged final.
"The game will be very tough. Wydad are a good team and our mission will not be easy against them," Azaro said.
"We will be well prepared for this crucial game."
Ahly will host Wydad de Casablanca in the first-leg of the final next weekend before heading to Morocco for the second one week later.