Ahly move closer to CL quarters with 3-1 win over Sudan's Merreikh

Ahram Online , Friday 18 Mar 2022

Reigning champions Ahly moved closer to a place in the African Champions League quarters after securing a 3-1 victory over Sudan's Al-Merreikh in Cairo on Friday.

Percy Tau
Ahly s Percy Tau scored the opener against Al-Merreikh (Photo: Ahram)

Winger Percy Tau gave Ahly a 19th-minute lead but Al-Merreikh gave them some a nerve-jangling minutes after Ramadan Agab netted an equaliser on the hour mark.

In the other Group A fixture pitting the two sides against each other early this month, Al-Merreikh came from two goals down to level the score at 2-2 before conceding a late goal to lose 3-2. 

This time around, Ahly quickly killed off their hopes, with Mohamed Sherif restoring the Cairo giants' lead and substitute Ahmed Abdel-Kader ensuring the win in the space of two minutes.

Ahly lie second in the group with seven points, three behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who face Sudan's Al-Hilal (four points) in the other group match on Saturday. Al-Merreikh lie at the bottom on four points.

Record nine-time winners Ahly will advance to the last eight if they beat Al-Hilal in their final group-stage match next month.

Tau opener

Ahly opened the scoring after 19 minutes when a half-hearted defensive clearance from Hamza Daoud fell to Tau on the edge of the area, with the South African's tame shot fumbled by keeper Monged Abuzaid into his own net.

Daoud could have made up for his error five minutes later when his deflected shot went just over the crossbar as Al-Merreikh poured forward in search of an equaliser.

A sluggish Ahly side initially failed to exploit the gaps Al-Merreikh left at the back and were even pegged back at times.

Al-Merreikh almost equalised on 53 minutes when Nigerian forward Tony Edjomariegwe skipped past Mohamed Abdel-Moneim on the left hand side of the area and pulled the ball back to the unmarked Agab, whose shot on the turn rattled the bar.

Agab made amends to level the score seven minutes later, slotting into an empty net on the rebound after keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi parried a shot from Algozoli Hussien into his path. Hussien had been found unattended following a recurring defensive lapse.

The introduction of Abdel-Kader made all the difference though as Ahly finally clicked into gear, punishing Al-Merreikh for their slack defending.

Sherif made it 2-1 in the 72nd minute when he escaped the attention of two defenders to receive a cut-back from Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul with a low shot on the turn that beat Abuzaid.

One minute later, Abdel-Kader found the net after a great piece of individual skill, intercepting a wayward pass out of defence before turning Salaheldin Nemer inside out and drilling into the near post with aplomb.

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