Ahly open CL group stage campaign with away loss to convincing Sudan’s Al-Hilal

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 18 Feb 2023

Egypt’s Ahly opened their campaign in the CAF Champions League group stage with a 1-0 loss to a convincing Al-Hilal of Sudan at Omdurman stadium on Saturday.



Centre-Forward Makabi Lilepo of DR Congo scored Al-Hilal’s victory goal only eight minutes after the break from a free kick with a soft try from Ahly keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi who failed to stop it.

Al-Hilal, who lost their first game in the group stage against Mamelodi Sundowns last week, now lie 2nd place in Group B ranking with three points after Saturday’s win.

The Red Devils are now 3rd in the group’s ranking with no points with one game in hands.

Their first round game against Cameroon's Coton Sport was postponed due to their participation in the Club World Cup.

Ahly are scheduled to host Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the 3rd round on Saturday.

Fruitless substitutions

Hussein El Shahat wasted an easy score chance only seven minutes from the start when he stroked a low shoot from inside the area that went close beside the goal bar.

Al-Hilal frontline began to pressure Ahy’s defence towards the end of the first half  but keeper El-Shennawi succeeded in going to the dressing room with a draw.

Algerian attacking midfielder Ahmed Kandoussi, who joined Ahly last January, made his debut with the team in the 63rd minute when he came on as a substitute for winger El-Shahat.

Al-Hilal continued to pile pressure on their visitors, gaining a penalty kick in the 65th minute.

However, El Shennawi made a superb save to suspend Lilepo’s strike from the penalty spot.

Mauritanian referee Dahane Beida denied a goal for Al-Hilal in the 68th minute due to the offside rule against striker Mohamed Abdelrahman.

Swiss Coach Marcel Koller made more substitutes in the 75th in a last-ditch attemp to score the equaliser, sending midfielder Mohamed Afsha to replace Percy Tau, striker Mohamed Sherif for midfielder Hamdi Fathi and young midfielder Mohamed Ashraf in place of Ali Maaloul.

However, Koller’s substitutes failed to score an equaliser thanks to Al-Hilal cemented defence.

The Sudanese giants will play against Cameroon's Coton Sport in the 3rd round on Friday.

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