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My initial target was to win even by a single goal, says Ahly boss after 6-2 victory

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Oct 2017
Soccer Football - CAF Champions League - Semi-Final - Al Ahly vs Etoile du Sahel - Borg El Arab Stadium, Borg El Arab, Egypt - October 22, 2017 Al Ahly's Emad Moteab and coach Hossam El-Badry Reuters
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Ahly boss Hossam El-Badry said that his initial target was to win without conceding a goal, knowing that beating Etoile du Sahel 1-0 at home would take his side to the CAF Champions League final.

After losing 2-1 in Sousse early in October, Ahly crushed the Tunisians at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium, prevailing 6-2 to comfortably secure a final berth for the first time since winning the title in 2013.  

"To be frank, my target was to score knowing that only 1-0 would qualify me for the final," El-Badry, who led Ahly to their 2012 Champions League title, told BeIN Sports right after the game.  

"We were lucky today; we had the desire to win which was reflected on the performance and the result.

"We focused on Etoile's weaknesses, particularly their defense and the gap they leave between the lines."

Ali Maaloul gave Ahly the lead in as early as the second minute before Moroccan striker Walid Azaro doubled their lead 20 minutes later.

Azaro, who came under immense criticism for failing to convert some clear-cut chances in previous games, scored the third five minutes from half-time before completing his personal treble three minutes into the second half.

Defender Rami Bedoui gave his side a glimmer of hope just three minutes later, but an own-goal from teammate Hamdi Nagguez preserved Ahly's lead.

Rami Rabia then made it six with a thunderbolt in the 63rd minute before substitute Iheb Msakni grabbed a consolation in stoppage time, as Ahly went through 7-4 on aggregate.  

Eight-time African champions Ahly will now meet Morocco's Wydad Casablanca in a two-legged final.

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