Al-Ahly Midfielder Hussein El-Shahat in action during the match with Saint George on Sunday 24 September, 2023. Photo courtesy of Al-Ahly.
Hussein El-Shahat was the hero of the match, scoring twice in the 29th 58th minutes and Ahmed Abdel-Kader added the third deep in injury time.
The game took place in Cairo after the Ethiopian side requested to play both legs in Egypt.
The Red Devils had two early chances, with Hussein El-Shahat's deflected shot narrowly missing the target and Mahmoud Kahraba's close-range effort going over the bar.
In the 29th minute, El-Shahat broke the deadlock with a superb curling shot that beat the goalkeeper and found the back of the net.
Defender Mohamed Abdel-Moneam had an opportunity to double the lead just before halftime, but his close-range attempt went wide.
The start of the second half saw Ahly come close to extending their advantage, with Rami Rabie's shot hitting the crossbar and Emam Ashour's effort striking the post.
Striker Mahmoud 'Kahraba' had an easy chance to score, but his finish was poor.
However, in the 58th minute, El-Shahat struck again with a well-placed shot from outside the area, securing his brace and Ahly's second goal of the match.
With 25 minutes remaining, Ahly coach Marcel Koller made substitutions, bringing on Mohamed 'Afsha' Magdi, Salah Mohsen, and Tunisian winger Mohamed Dhaoui in place of Emam Ashour, Mahmoud 'Kahraba' Abdel Moneam, and Hussein El-Shahat, respectively.
Few minutes later the Swiss coach made a double substitution, introducing Ahmed Abdel-Kader and Ahmed Nabil at the expense of Percy Tau and Marwan Atteya.
Despite creating more goalscoring opportunities, Ahly managed to score only one goal from a solo effort from Abdel-Kader in the 90+4 minute.
With the second leg set to be played in Cairo on Friday, Ahly have virtually secured their place in the Champions League group stage.
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