Last year's runners-up Ahly squandered a plethora of goal-scoring chances but still did enough to claim a 2-0 home win over Ethiopia's Jimma Aba Jifar in the first leg of the African Champions League round of 32 as they kicked off their new campaign on Friday.
Playmaker Nasser Maher scored his first goal for Ahly and striker Marwan Mohsen added a second in the first half as the Red Devils strolled to a win at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium.
However, Ahly will hope they won't rue a host of missed chances in the second half when they meet Aba Jifar in the second leg in Addis Ababa next week.
The Cairo giants, who reached the final in 2017 and 2018 but lost on both occasions, are eyeing their first Champions League crown since winning the last of their record eight titles in 2013.
Maher needed seven minutes to open the scoring, finishing off a move he started.
His threaded pass found full-back Karim Walid, whose angled shot came back off the post and fell to Maher to drill a low shot into an empty net.
He could have scored his second of the night on 25 minutes but his close-range volley struck the crossbar with the goal at his mercy before winger Ahmed Hamoudi missed a sitter with a right-foot effort from inside the area.
But Mohsen made Ahly's dominance count on 38 minutes when he turned to shake off his marker and fire home.
The visitors created a rare goal-scoring chance on the stroke of halftime when Aschalew Girma ghosted behind Malian defender Salif Coulibaly to go clear but he blasted his shot high over.
Ahly were guilty of some glaring misses in the second half, with Mohsen in particular proving wasteful.
The Egypt striker failed to convert a low cross when well-positioned to score and had a shot denied by the post in the latter stages.
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