Preview: Ahly's quarterfinal hopes rest on must-win game against Al-Hilal in CAF CL

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 1 Apr 2023

There will be no room for more errors for Ahly when they host Al-Hilal of Sudan in the final round of the CAF Champions League group stage at Cairo International Stadium on Saturday.

Ahly vs. Al-Hilal
Egypt s Ahly vs. Sudan s Al-Hilal in the CAF Champions League. Photo: Ahly s official website


The ten-time African champions, Ahly must win the game to secure a place in the quarterfinals alongside Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, who have already qualified with 11 points.

Ahly's hopes of reaching the quarterfinals were revived after Al-Hilal held a 1-1 draw with Sundowns earlier this month.

The Red Devils are currently third in the group with seven points, three points behind second-placed Al-Hilal.

In the reverse game, Ahly lost to the Sudanese side 1-0 in Omdurman, and they must win with a better difference to advance to the next round due to their better head-to-head record.

Up to 50,000 of Ahly supporters will be allowed to attend the game at the Cairo International Stadium, and coach Marcel Koller believes that the team will use this support to their advantage.

"The attendance of a big number of fans will be a positive support for the players to achieve their target and secure the qualifying card," Koller said.

Ahly welcomed back their international players after a week of international break with their national teams.

"The team prepared well for the game, the international players joined the training, and they are ready for the game," Koller said.

Meanwhile, Al-Hilal coach Florent Ibenge expressed his confidence ahead of the game, saying he is there to please his team's supporters by reaching the quarterfinals.

"We are here in Cairo to qualify for the CAF Champions League quarterfinals as well as pleasing our supporters," Ibenge told the pre-game press conference on Friday.

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