USM Algiers stun wasteful Ahly to clinch CAF Super Cup glory

Ahram Online , Friday 15 Sep 2023

USM Algiers pulled off a stunning upset on Friday, defeating the African Champions, Ahly, to secure their inaugural CAF Super Cup title.

USMA captain Zineddine Belaid celebrates after scoring against Ahly. Photo: CAF X account.

The decisive moment came in the 42nd minute when Zineddine Belaid calmly converted a penalty, sealing the victory for the Algerians despite Ahly's dominant performance.

USM's head coach, Abdelhak Benchikha, can now celebrate back-to-back titles, having guided RS Berkane of Morocco to their maiden championship last year.

Ahly, aiming for a record-extending ninth Super Cup title in their 11th participation, started the match in commanding fashion.

Mahmoud "Kahraba" Abdel-Moneim saw his goal disallowed due to a foul on the goalkeeper, while new signings Read Slim and Emam Ashour squandered clear-cut opportunities to break the deadlock.

Just before halftime, USM Algiers were awarded a penalty following a VAR review, as Marwan Attia was deemed to have fouled Brahim Benzaza. Belaid coolly dispatched the penalty, granting his team the lead against the run of play.

Ahly intensified their offensive pressure in the second half, with coach Marcel Koller deploying all of his attacking options.

Percy Tau, Mohamed "Afsha" Magdi, and Salah Mohsen all had their chances, but their finishing lacked the precision needed to snatch victory, ultimately conceding the title to USM Algiers.

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