Ahly face goalkeepers crisis ahead of CAF Champions League final

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 May 2023

Egyptian giants Ahly are grappling with a goalkeeping crisis ahead of their highly-anticipated encounter against Morocco's Wydad Casablanca in the first leg of the African Champions League final due to injuries.

Ahly s goalkeeper Mohamed el-Shenawy reacts at the end of the CAF Champions League semi-final match. AFP


Ahly will face Talae El-Gaish in the Egyptian Premier League on Friday, then host Ceramica Cleopatra on Monday before hosting Morocco’s Wydad on 4 June in the first leg of the Champions League final.

The team's first-choice goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy, who kept a clean sheet in 24 games out of 36 in all competitions, has started a rehabilitation programme after sustaining a calf injury.

Ahly's medical staff are hoping to get the veteran goalkeeper ready for the continental final.

Moreover, the team's second-choice goalie, Ali Lotfi, suffered a thigh muscle injury during their 2-0 win over Enppi on Tuesday, ruling him out for up to reportedly 10 days and casting doubts on his availability for the Wydad game.

To further compound Ahly's woes, their young fourth-choice keeper, Hamza Alaa, is out due to a knee cartilage injury.

Ahly coach Marcel Koller is facing a daunting task as the only available goalie in the club's African squad is third-choice goalie Mostafa Shobeir.

The Cairo giants booked their place in the final after defeating Tunisia's Esperance 4-0 on aggregate, while Wydad secured their spot on the away goal rule after drawing 2-2 with South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns.

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