Returning To Cairo: Al Ahly Win Africa’s Biggest Tournament

In January, I wrote an article on the Egyptian Premier League. At the time, many fans were growing frustrated with UEFA and European soccer in general, and the later planning of the Super League didn’t help. In the article, I encouraged readers to look into other leagues, mainly Egypt’s Premier League.

Now, seven months later, Egypt – and possibly the world’s – most successful club have claimed yet another trophy. Facing South African side Kaizer Chiefs, South African manager Pitso Mosimane led Al Ahly to a second consecutive CAF Champions League victory.

The game was largely uneventful until Kaizer winger Happy Mashiane was sent off for a dangerous foul late in the first half. This opened up the game for Al Ahly, who scored three goals in the second half.

Striker Mohamed Sherif led the way, scoring Al Ahly’s first goal and assisting the other two. Sherif, who finished as the tournament’s second highest scorer with six goals, reportedly has any top-flight teams in France and Turkey interested in his signature. This could be a sneaky good deal for clubs interested in Sherif, who could easily become one of Al Ahly’s record departures.

Afsha scored Al Ahly’s second goal, his third of the tournament. The attacking midfielder joined the club in 2019 from rivals Pyramids FC and has proceeded to play over 80 games, scoring fifteen times.

Defensive midfielder Amr El Solia clinched the game with Al Ahly’s final goal off of a counter attack. It was El Solia’s first goal of the competition as the 31-year old won his twelfth trophy with Al Ahly.

Having won their tenth African Champions League, Al Ahly are on pace to win a second consecutive treble. Both the league and Egyptian Cup have yet to finish, but Al Ahly are second in the league. This is despite having played four fewer games than the first-placed team Zamalek. Al Ahly are just ten points behind city rivals Zamalek and have eleven games left in the season. The Red Devils are in the Egyptian Cup Round of 16 and face ENPPI SC, who are seventh in Egypt.

This season was less than ideal for Kaizer Chiefs. Once the most successful team in South Africa, Kaizer have now not won a trophy since 2015. This season, the Chiefs lost the Champions League final, exited the South African Nedbank Cup in the second round to a second tier team, and finished eighth in the league. Change is needed for the historic South African side.

Whilst this year’s edition of the CAF Champions League has ended, the excitement of the final has definitely proved it to be a can’t-miss tournament.

Image Courtesy of Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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