Defending champions Ahly escaped a potentially embarrassing Champions League exit after beating Tanzania's Young Africans 4-3 on penalties in the second leg of the round of 32 in Alexandria on Sunday.
The game ended with a 1-0 win for Ahly, the same result as the Red Devils’ surprise loss in the first leg in Tanzania last week.
Winger Sayed Moawad scored in the 71th minute to grant the Cairo giants a spot in the round of 16 through penalties.
In the round of 16, Ahly will take on Libyan side Ahly Benghazi who qualified after a 2-0 home win over Ghanaian outfit Berekum Chelsea on Sunday under the guidance of Egyptian coach Tarek El-Ashri.
Suffering from their fans’ absence due to security issues, Ahly continued their disappointing display and struggled to be consistent, missing a lot of chances.
In the first half, Ahly’s players reached the visitors’ goal many times, but without posing a real threat.
Early in the second half, under-fire coach Mohamed Youssef replaced his midfielder Moussa Yedan with teammate El-Sayed Hamdy to boost his attacking line.
In the 71 minute, winger Sayed Moawad was lucky enough to score his first continental goal with Ahly after netting inside the danger area to put his team on the lead.
Youssef replaced starlet Amr Gamal with striker Ahmed Raouf in a bid to double the score, but his efforts were in vain.
Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy played an instrumental role in penalties, saving two goals to help his team move forward on their journey to a Champions League title.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)