Monday, 22 October 2012

Al Ahly to face Esperance in the CAF Orange Champions League final

By Fred Maingi & Agencies
Al Ahly fans erupted into thunderous cheers  and celebrations  on Sunday night after booking a  ticket to the finals of the Orange CAF Africa Champions League after defeating stubborn Sunshine Stars of Nigeria with a solitary goal.
 The match was played at the empty June 30 Stadium in Egypt .  Egyptian authorities refused to allow spectators amid post-Arab spring security fears
  Mohamed 'Geddo' Nagy  scored the match winner after 28 minutes after a  deflected shot past Sunshine Keeper Moses Ocheje .
  Both teams tied 3-3 in the first leg tie staged in Nigeria two weeks ago.. 
Record six-time African champions Ahly advanced 4-3 overall and face bitter rivals Esperance of Tunisia over two legs during November, with the Egyptians having home advantage first. 
   Geddo, who became the five-goal star of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations after entering the tournament as an unknown, had scored only once in the CAF Champions League this season before the semi-finals.
    A delighted Ahly manager Houssam El Badry said  he was happy with the victory adding that the Nigerian side  were too strong.He promised to lift the title when they face off with Esperance of Tunisia in the  grand finale.
   Esperance reached a third consecutive Orange CAF Champions League final after a 1-0 home win over TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday. Defender Mohamed Ben Mansour scored the only goal of the two-leg semi-final with 20 minutes left in Tunis, side footing into the net a flick-on following a free kick.

But a first-leg brace followed by the second-leg winner lifts him to four goals, two less than leading Ahly scorer Mohamed Aboutrika, who is serving a two-month club suspension for refusing to play in a recent domestic fixture.
    Geddo could have finished the return match with four goals as the woodwork denied him twice in the opening half and once after the break while Sunshine substitute Harrison Egbune rattled the crossbar in the latter stages.

Ahly  Keeper Sherif Ekrami made  several acrobatic saves from Sunshine strikers led by Tamen Medrano, Dele Olorundare and Egbune  who kept on threatening time and again.

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