By Jemea Teke Ndumbe
Egyptian giants Al Ahly have beaten Wydad Athletic Club of Casablanca 2-1 in the first leg of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League final at the Cairo International Stadium.
Percy Tau and Mahmoud Kahraba scored the two goals for the 10-time African champions, as Al Ahly go into the second leg on the advantage.
Substitute Said Eddine got the lone goal for the defending champions as the hopes of Wydad is still alive going into the return leg in Casablanca.
Al Ahly was denied a penalty in the 30th minute after Ali Maaloul’s freekick touched the hand of a Wydad defender. The referee had pointed to the spot but after visiting the pitch side monitor, the decision was overruled.
It was going to be a highly intense game between these two great clubs in African football as both clubs have won four of the last six Champions League finals.
Al Ahly who are in search of an 11th Continental crown-dominated possession in the first 20 minutes of the game. Kahraba’s shot at the 18th minute was saved by the Wydad goalkeeper.
Al Ahly saw their penalty shout overturned by the Video Assistant Referee after Ali Maaloul’s freekick hit the hand of a Wydad defender. The referee had pointed to the spot, but the VAR review had the decision overruled.
Wydad also came close to open the score after Reda Jaadi’s volley was saved by the Al Ahly goalkeeper.
Al Ahly finally got the game’s opener at the brink of halftime, with a goal from Tau, whose header beat the Wydad goalkeeper.
Al Ahly continued their dominance in the second half as Kahraba doubled the lead for the Red Devils following an assist from Elshahat.
The defending champions didn’t go to sleep as they search for an away goal. It finally paid off at the 86th minute as substitute Bouhra scored the crucial away goal for the Moroccan giants.
The home side had chances to take a two-goal advantage in the second leg but to no avail as it ended 2-1 to Al Ahly.
Wydad will need just a 1-0 win to defend their crown, but an away goal for Al Ahly will mean that the defending champions have to score three goals to keep their crown.