Wydad s Moroccan midfielder Yahya Jabrane (C) and Ahly s Egyptian midfielder Hussein el-Shahat (R) vie for the ball during the first-leg final football match of the CAF Champions League, between Egypt s Al-Ahly and Morocco s Wydad AC, at Cairo International Stadium on June 4, 2023. AFP
South African winger Percy Tau put Ahly ahead just before the break, while Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’ Abdel-Moneam doubled the lead on the stroke of the hour mark.
Substitute forward Seif Edin Bouhra narrowed the gap five minutes from time, making the second leg in Casablanca on Sunday more difficult for both sides.
Ahly made a strong start to the game in front of 50,000 enthusiastic fans, attempting to open the scoring on many occasions, but the first real threat came in the 20th minute when Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’ Abdel-Moneam's close-range shot was easily collected by the keeper.
The Red Devils piled on more pressure, but they failed to make a real threat until the last seconds of the first half when unmarked Percy Tau met Hussein El-Shahat's nice cross with a header to score easily in an empty net.
In the second half, Wydad players pulled on the attack in order to score the equaliser, with Zouhir El Moutaraji's shot hitting the side net three minutes after the break.
Kahraba added the second for Ahly in the 60th minute when he received a nice pass from Hussein El Shahat and fired home from close range.
The second goal gave Ahly more confidence, and they seemed on the verge of adding a third.
Wydad international fullback Yahia Attiyat Allah found his shot from the edge of the area hit the post, while Kahraba had the chance to add the third and kill the game, but his curling shot was easily collected by the keeper.
Aware of the critical situation of his side, Wydad coach made a double substitution in order to improve his attack in the last 15 minutes of the game.
Seif Edin Bouhra, who entered in the 82nd minute, rewarded his coach by scoring Wydad’s only goal three minutes later to keep his side's chances alive in the second leg.
Ahly tried to add a third, and coach Marcel Koller introduced striker Mohamed Sherif and winger Ahmed Abdel-Qader, but the duo failed to make their presence felt.
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