Brilliant second-half Ahly book CL knockout berth after defeating Medeama

Ahram Online , Friday 23 Feb 2024

Egyptian giants Ahly secured their place in the CAF Champions League knockout stage with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Ghana's Medeama in the fifth round of Group D on Friday.

Ahly winger Hussein El-Shahat tries to control the ball during his side's CAF Champions League group stage game against Ghana's Medeama on Friday, 23, February. Photo: Ahly's official X account.


Winger Hussein El-Shahat emerged as the hero for the Red Devils, converting a second-half assist from French import Anthony Modeste to snatch the all-important three points.

Under the guidance of coach Marcel Koller, the Red Devils made three changes to the starting lineup from their previous encounter against Algeria's Chabab De Belouizdad.

Amr El-Sulaya, Karim 'Nedved' Walid, and South African winger Percy Tau were brought in to replace Taher Mohamed Taher, Akram Tawfik, and the suspended midfielder Marwan Atteya, respectively.

Right from the start, the hosts launched an attacking onslaught in search of an early goal.

However, Ahly relied on their resilient defence and executed swift counterattacks.

Ahly goalkeeper Mostafa Shobeir showcased his skills in the 11th minute by making a brilliant save, denying Medeama's Bernardinho Tetteh's left-footed shot from the centre of the box.

Just two minutes later, Hussein El-Shahat came tantalizingly close to opening the scoring for Ahly after receiving a pass from Amr El-Sulaya.

Unfortunately, his right-footed shot from the centre of the box sailed unexpectedly high.

Shobeir came to the rescue again in the 21st minute, diverting Fatawu Hamidu's shot for a corner.

In the 38th minute, Modeste missed an opportunity to score for Ahly when he received a pass from Emam Ashour but sent his right-footed shot from outside the box wide of the mark.

Only three minutes into the second half, Ahly broke the deadlock with a superb set-piece. El-Sulaya initiated the move, passing the ball to Modeste, who skillfully evaded a defender and then delivered a pass to Hussein El-Shahat. El-Shahat made no mistake, firing a shot from the centre of the box into the bottom right corner.

Shobeir once again exhibited his quality in the 52nd minute, denying Derrick Fordjour's close-range effort.

In the 67th minute, Koller introduced defender Rami Rabia to replace the injured Karim Nedved, and Palestinian forward Wessam Abou Ali substituted for Modeste, to inject fresh attacking impetus.

Wissam Abou Ali came close to doubling Ahly's lead in the 86th minute with a shot from inside the box, but it was brilliantly blocked by the Medeama goalkeeper.

With this victory, the Cairo Giants secured their place in the knockout stage, finishing at the top of the group with 9 points, while Medeama remained at the bottom with 4 points.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: