Ahly welcome back die-hard supporters in Champions League victory
Hatem Maher, Sunday 7 Apr 2013
With Ultras Ahlawy present in the stands for the first time in more than a year, Ahly beat Kenya's Tusker 2-0 in Alexandria to go through in the African Champions League


Ahly, welcoming back their die-hard fans for the first time in more than a year, qualified for the African Champions League round of 16 after an easy 2-0 home win over Kenya's Tusker completed a 4-1 aggregate victory on Sunday.

Two first-half goals from attacking duo Ahmed Abdel-Zaher and Emad Meteb, who scored twice in the 2-1 first-leg victory, lifted the defending champions to the last 16 as they seek to win a second consecutive title.

The highlight of an otherwise dour affair was the return of Ultras Ahlawy, a group of hardcore Ahly supporters, to the stands at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium for the first time since the February 2012 Port Said disaster.

The fans celebrated their return by displaying three tifos, a term used to describe a fan spectacle. One of them mocked Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who was Egypt's de facto ruler during a turbulent transition to a civilian role.

Tantawi, the former head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), is accused by Ultras Ahlawy o fcomplicity in the Port Said disaster. The other two tifos honoured the 72 victims of the tragedy.

Fans are banned from attending domestic matches due to security concerns. However, a limited number of supporters are usually allowed to attend Champions League games.

Roared on by the enthusiastic crowd, Ahly took the lead after five minutes when Abdel-Zaher rose at the near post to head a free-kick into the far corner of the net.

Meteb added the second seven minutes before the break with a curling shot from just outside the area after collecting a pass from Abdallah El-Said, sending the fans into raptures.

The match was briefly stopped by the referee afterwards after the fans lit up many firecrackers.

Chances were few and far between in a dull second half but Ahly were unlucky not to extend the gap on a couple of occasions.

Midfielder Shehab Ahmed rattled the bar with a powerful drive and Mauritanian striker Dominique Da Silva had a penalty saved by Tusker's keeper in the latter stages.

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