Ahly through to Champions League semifinals after seeing off Simba

Ahram Online , Saturday 6 Apr 2024

Egyptian giants Ahly advanced to the semifinals of the CAF Champions League for the 20th time in the club's history, and the fifth consecutive time, after a 2-0 triumph over Simba from Tanzania at Cairo International Stadium on Friday.

Al Sulaya
Ahly's midfielder Amr Al Sulaya celebrates after scoring his side's first goal against Simba of Tanzania in the second leg of the CAF Champions League quarterfinal on Thursday, 5 April. Photo: Courtesy of Ahly's official X account.


Ahly midfielder Amr El Sulaya broke the deadlock early in the second half, while Kahraba sealed the victory with an injury-time penalty for the Red Devils.

Having secured a narrow 1-0 win in the first leg in Tanzania last week, the reigning champions entered the match with an advantage over Simba.

Ahly made their intentions clear in the opening minutes, with Moroccan winger Reda Slim attempting to cut inside from the right side of the box, but he was brought down following a collision with a defender.

Ten minutes later, Ahly's winger Hussein El-Shahat received a cross from Ali Maaloul on the left side of the box, but his right-footed shot from a difficult angle missed the target.

In the 22nd minute, French striker Anthony Modeste appeared to score with a close-range shot after a brilliant cross from El-Shahat, but the goal was disallowed after a VAR check.

The game remained deadlocked as both teams struggled to create clear-cut opportunities in the first half.

Thirty minutes into the match, Simba began to press forward in search of a goal, but Ahly goalkeeper Mostafa Shobier came to the rescue with a save, blocking Saidi Ntibazonkiza's right-footed shot from outside the box. Shobier produced another remarkable save by denying Fabrice Ngoma's shot from inside the box.

Ahly intensified their attacking efforts in the second half, resulting in the decisive goal.

Just two minutes into the second half, Slim received the ball on the left side of the field, cut inside, and delivered an excellent cross to Modeste, who passed it to Amr Al Sulaya. Al Sulaya then calmly put the ball into the back of the net with his right foot from inside the box.

Simba players attempted to mount a comeback, but Ahly's solid defense thwarted all their efforts.

In the 60th minute, Simba's coach Abdelhak Benchikha made a double substitution, introducing Patrick Mwenda and Luís Miquissone to inject more energy into his attack, but the changes proved to be ineffective.

With five minutes remaining in the game, Ahly coach Marcel Koller refreshed his squad by bringing on Mahmoud "Kahraba" Abdel-Moneam, Taher Mohamed Taher, and Mohamed "Afsha" Magdy, replacing Modeste, Slim, and El Sulaya, respectively.

Two minutes later, Kahraba received a cross from Taher on the left side of the box, but his left-footed shot was saved in the center of the goal.

In injury time, the referee awarded Al Ahly a penalty kick after a collision between El-Shahat and a Simba defender. Kahraba confidently converted the penalty, finding the back of the net.

Ahly now will await the winner between Petro Atletico and TP Mazembe.

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