CAIRO – It was not the most convincing display, but Egyptian giants Al Ahly are through to the African Champions League final having won a 7-6 sudden death post-match penalty shootout to overcome Coton Sport of Cameroon on Sunday.
The 1-1 draw in the second leg meant the two clubs ended 2-2 on aggregate after the same score line at the end of the first leg earlier this month.
Now, Ahly stay on course to retain their continental title and extend their record number of success in the continent’s top club competition. But they will have to get past Orlando Pirates first in what will be an exciting two-legged final in November.
It took just three minutes for the home side to score when Abdullah Al Saied gave the Egyptians the perfect start, getting above two defenders to head home a Sayed Moawad cross.
Ahly, who had rested three international players involved in Egypt’s 6-1 loss to Ghana in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying play-off, created a number of half chances to extend the lead but Coton Sport equalised in the 65th minute.
Their goal came during when a cross came in to allow Alexis Yougouda to net his seventh goal of the campaign when he slid the ball home from close range.
In the penalty shootout, Ahly legend Mohamed Aboutrika missed the first kick but then his teammates converted seven spot kicks thereafter. The decisive miss came from Jacques Haman.
The match was played behind closed doors because of a spectator ban for Ahly following recent crowd violence.
Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef, meanwhile, had to watch from the grandstand after being sent off during the first leg in Garoua two weeks ago.
Ahly have won seven previous Champions League titles and are African football’s most successful club. – Agencies