Esperance coach expects to meet Ahly in African final

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 24 Sep 2013

Tunisian giants coach Maher Kanzari anticipates meeting experienced Egyptian side in final of prestigious continental tournament

Walid Soliman
Ahly's playmaker Walid Soliman fights for the ball against Espérance at the 2012 CAF Champions League Final (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Esperance coach Maher Kanzari has hailed the experience of Ahly and predicted a repetition of last season's African Champions League final between the two teams.

Title holders Ahly drew with Orlando Pirates in South Africa on Sunday to advance into the Champions League semifinals as Group A leaders with 11 points.

The Red Devils avoided a tricky semifinal tie against Tunisia's Esperance, whom they defeated in last year's final to win a record-extending seventh title.

"Ahly's vast experience helped a lot in guiding them to the semifinal as group leaders. I expect to meet the Egyptian team in the final," Kanzari told a Tunisian radio station on Monday.

Esperance went through after finishing as Group B leaders with 15 points, the best tally for any team since 1999 (five wins out of six matches). They will take on Orlando Pirates in the semifinal.

Seeking their eighth title, Ahly will face Cameroon's Coton Sport in the semifinal. The Egyptian team previously defeated the Cameroonians in the 2008 final.

In 2010, Esperance made it to the final at the expense of Ahly, extending their dominance also in 2011 after beating the Egyptians in the group stage to reach the semis and later winning the title.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: