CAF Champions League CAFCL: Al Ahly Gets Narrow Win Against Simba In Tanzania

Al Ahly SC defeated Simba SC of Tanzania at Dar es Salaam for the first leg of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Quarter-Finals began on Friday night.

The North African powerhouses proved their mettle by pulling off a hard-fought 1-0 victory in front of a boisterous crowd of 60,000 supporters.

They will now go to Cairo the following week in the hopes of winning the two-leg match in front of their home supporters.

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The first leg was won by the Egyptian giants thanks to an early goal by Ahmed Kouka, who did well to withstand constant pressure from Simba throughout the match.

As anticipated, the hosts were the first to press their opponents, questioning them as early as the opening minute following an attractive ball into the danger area that struck Sadio Kanoute’s head, but his shot sailed just over the crossbar.

But it was the reigning champions who took the lead, when Ahmed Kouka scored from close range after Mohamed Hany drove down the right wing and sent in a dangerous ball that nearly went in as an own goal but rebounded off the keeper.

Even though they gave up early, Simba did not let it stop them from pursuing the equaliser.

In the 22nd minute, Clatous Chama came dangerously close to pulling one back, but Mostafa Shobeir reacted quickly to divert it to safety.

In the 38th minute, Shobeir—who had performed brilliantly in Ahly’s absence of Mohamed El Shenawy—was again called upon to make a stop when Kanoute’s piercing shot caught the keeper off guard.

After the break, the hosts kept applying more and more pressure, but they were unable to overcome the tenacious and extremely skilled Ahly back, who resisted all of Simba’s attempts.

Next weekend, the two titans will square off, and while Simba may suffer a defeat, they will go to Cairo with a sense of accomplishment after a brilliant display that saw them keep their more well-favored opponents in their half the whole game.

Meanwhile, Young Africans and Mamelodi Sundowns square off in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League on Saturday, March 30 at 18 a.m. GMT at the same location.

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