Preview: Egypt's Ahly need to be more clinical to reach Champions League semis

Ahram Online , Friday 21 Sep 2018

Ahly settled for a 0-0 draw at Horoya AC in the first leg of the African Champions League quarter-final last week (Photo: Ahly's official website)

Egypt's Ahly are aware they need to be more clinical upfront if they are to reach the African Champions League semi-final for the second year running as they host Guinea's unfancied outfit Horoya AC at Cairo's Al-Salam Stadium on Saturday.

Moving back to the capital after holding the majority of their Champions League games in Alexandria over the past few years, Ahly are likely to be roared on by their passionate supporters as they chase their first accolade since 2013.

They look well-equipped to book a last-four berth following a 0-0 first-leg draw in Conakry. However, there were worrying signs of profligacy in last week's encounter, with Ahly squandering several clear-cut chances which if converted would have put them in a comfortable position.

The wasted opportunities included two one-on-ones which fell to substitute Salah Mohsen in the latter stages of the game.

"I hope we will be able take advantage of our chances in tomorrow's game after we spurned lots of chances in the first leg," Ahly's French coach Patrice Carteron told the pre-match news conference on Friday.

"We were very close to winning away from home but were unlucky in front of goal, having been unable to convert our dominance to goals."

The Red Devils look favourites on paper but they are taking nothing for granted following Friday's shock elimination of five-time winners TP Mazembe of the DR Congo, who bowed out on the away-goal rule after a 1-1 draw at home to Angola's Primeiro de Agosto.

They will also have to do without several key players due to injury, including defensive duo Saad Samir and Mohamed Naguib and regular central midfielder Amr El-Sulaya.

"We are taking part in more than one competition and when some players get injured, others are given a chance to prove their worth. They have to seize their chance," Carteron, who guided Mazembe to the Champions League title in 2015, added.

Ahly won the last of their record eight Champions League titles in 2013. They qualified for last year's final, only to lose to Morocco's Wydad Casablanca 2-1 on aggregate.

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