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Sunday, 21 July 2019

Egyptian giants Ahly reach Champions League final despite ES Setif defeat

Mohamed Mosselhi, Tuesday 23 Oct 2018
Soliman
Soccer Football - CAF Champions League - Semi Final - First Leg - Al Ahly vs ES de Setif - Al-Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt - October 2, 2018 Al Ahly's Islam Mohareb celebrates with Walid Soliman after scoring their second goal REUTERS
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Egyptian giants Ahly have reached their 12th African Champions League final on a 3-2 aggregate win after suffering a 2-1 away defeat aginst ES Setif of Algeria on Tuesday.

Walid Soliman opened the scoring for Ahly just one minute after the hour-mark but ES Setif responded quickly with two consecutive goals from Mohamed Bakir and Hossammadine Chacha on 71and 68 minutes respectively.

The eight-time African champions - who won the first-leg 2-0 - set-up another North African derby in the final as they will face with Tunisian giants Esperance de Tunis who ousted Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto earlier on Tuesday.

The first leg will take place in Egypt on Friday 2 November while the second leg will be in Tunisia one week later.

Ahly started the game in style as they appeared solid at the back against an Algerian side that was superior in terms of possession but incapable to create a real threat.

Though, the Red Devils came close from scoring in two occasions. Winger Eslam Moharab came at the end of a neat pass from Soliman that put him clear on target but he failed to control the ball before it was cleared by Redouane Benzaid.

Ahmed Hamoudi squandered a golden chance when he was set up in the area by Walid Azaro with the goal at his mercy but his close range shot was blocked by the Algerian keeper Moustapha Zeghba.

After the interval ES Setif piled more pressure on their visitors in an attempt to break the deadlock leaving empty spaces at the back.

Experienced full back Ahmed Fathi sent a defence-splitting pass to Soliman who outran his defender to shoot at the far post to put Ahly in the lead and relieve the pressure.

However his teammates seemed too much relaxed as a blunder from keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi allowed ES Setif to level the score the 68th minute. The international keeper let an easy cross slip between his hands into his own net.

Three minutes later substitute striker Hossammadine Chacha added the second after receiving a nice cross from Abdelmoumene Djabou to score in an empty net.

The Egyptians were once again back on their toes to defend their first leg advantage and managed to contain a huge pressure from their rivals to seal the final ticket.

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