Ahly s Egyptian midfielder Hussein el-Shahat (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team s first goal during the CAF Champions League semi-final football match between Egypt s Al-Ahly and Tunisia s Esperance Sportive de Tunis at the Cairo International Stadium on May 19, 2023. Photo: AFP
This impressive accomplishment marks the second time the Red Devils have achieved such a feat, previously accomplishing a similar run from 2005 to 2008. Only TP Englebert of Congo, now known as TP Mazembe, has matched this achievement between 1967 and 1970.
With a place in their 16th final, Ahly remains on track to pursue a record-extending 11th Champions League title.
The Red Devils dominated the match against a lackluster Esperance side, creating multiple scoring opportunities. It was in the 22nd minute when Hussein El Shahat capitalized on a precise long pass from Percy Tau, evading the Tunisian goalkeeper and slotting the ball into the net.
Esperance struggled to mount a response, and Ahly's goalkeeper Ali Lotfi, who filled in for the injured Mohamed El Shennawy, was rarely tested in the first half.
Maintaining their control of the game, the hosts continued to press forward. El Shahat came close to doubling his team's lead when he intercepted a loose ball in the penalty area, but his shot was cleared off the goal line by defender Mohamed Tougai.
Substitutes Ahmed Abdel-Kader and Taher Mohamed Taher had opportunities to extend Ahly's lead, but they were unable to convert, ultimately securing a narrow yet comfortable victory.
The Egyptians now awaits the outcome of Saturday's match between Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and Wydad of Morocco in the second leg of the semifinals. The first leg ended in a goalless draw in Casablanca.
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