Preview: Ahly hope for an away win over Simba to secure early CL semifinal spot

Ahram Online , Thursday 28 Mar 2024

Egyptian powerhouse Ahly will take on Tanzania's Simba in the first leg of the CAF Champions League quarterfinal at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium on Friday.

Percy Tau
File Photo: Ahly s forward Percy Tau in action during the match with the Young Africans on 1 March, 2024. Photo courtesy of Al-Ahly.


The defending champs are eyeing an away win over the Tanzanian side to secure an early berth in the semifinals ahead of the second leg in Cairo.

Ahly, who are eyeing a record-extending 12th Champions League crown, secured their place in the last eight as Group D winners after accumulating 12 points from three wins and three draws.

Missing key players

Ahly path to the semifinals will be more challenging than usual as the team misses several key players due to injuries.

On Friday, the Red Devils will have to do without goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy; midfield trio Emam Ashour, Aliou Dieng, and Karim "Nedved" Walid; defender Yasser Ibrahim; and Palestinian striker Wessam Abou Ali.

However, Ahly received a boost with the return of winger Hussein El-Shahat, the team's top scorer in the competition with five goals, after he recovered from a muscular injury.

On the other hand, Tanzania's champions secured their fourth consecutive appearance in the quarter-finals by finishing runners-up to ASEC Mimosas in Group B.

A hard opponent

Buoyed by a recent 2-0 home win in the domestic league, Simba hope to foil Ahly's attacks and well-drilled defence relying on the presence of their supporters.

Friday's game marks the seventh encounter between the two sides - with each team winning a deuce.

They drew 1-1 in their most recent clash in October in the second leg of the quarterfinals of the inaugural edition of the African Super League.

The second leg will be played in Cairo on 5 April.

The winner will face either Mazembe of Congo or Angola's Petro de Luanda in the semi-final match.

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