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Al-Ahly Reach Fourth Champions League Final in Five Years

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (April 26th 2024)

Ahly Progress

Defending champions Al-Ahly advanced to their fourth Champions League final in four years after beating TP Mazembe 3-0 at Cairo’s International Stadium tonight. Mohamed Abdelmonem opened the scoring after 68 minutes. Palestinian striker Wessam Abou Ali doubled their lead after 83 minutes and after 12 minutes of added time Akram Tawfik put the icing on the cake.

But it could have been very different – at 0-0 Joël Beya headed in a cross from the right of the area, but VAR intervened to disallow the goal for a handball by him in the build-up after 58 minutes.

Within ten minutes Ahly took the lead through Abdelmonem’s header from the centre of the penalty area into the top left corner of the goal. Ali Maâloul’s cross provided the assist. Fifteen minutes later Abou Ali’s right footed shot from Maâloul’s cross doubled Ahly’s lead. With Time running out – 12 minutes of added time – Tawfik’s shot from the right of the area to the opposite corner of the goal made it three. Esam Ashour provided the assist finishing a rapid counterattack.


Amr El Soleya’ shot after ten minutes was the first serious attempt on goal, but it was easily saved. Almost ten minutes later Ahmed Abdelkader’s header was also saved. Percy Tau (for Ahly) and Ibrahima Keita (for Mazembe) saw shots blocked. Maâloul created several opportunities. After 35 minutes his cross resulted in Rami Rabia’s header being well saved by Alioune Faty.

Just before half time Boaz Ngalamulume set up Sozé Zemanga but his shot from just outside the area passed just wide of the left post. A couple more attempts were blocked or saved, but half time arrived with no score.

Between the disallowed goal and Ahly taking the lead Tau’s long-range shot was saved. Further blocks and near misses occurred with Mazembe unable to find an equaliser.


Al-Ahly progressed to the final where they will meet Espérance Sportive de Tunis who beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 at the Loftus Versfield Stadium after a power outage threatened to delay the continuation of the match until the following day. Raed Bouchniba’s goal saw the Tunisians go through 2-0 on aggregate.

“The match officials officiated this game in the favour of Al Ahly only,” TP Mazembe coach Lamine N’Diaye told journalists. “It’s very disappointing.”

N’Diaye slammed referee, Peter Waweru Kamaku, saying they had three matches without use of VAR and he saw no reason to resort to it in this case. But he went further.

“We must talk about,” he said. “We lost by three goals, which angers me.

“I am frustrated because we know well that we are in Africa. If we wat to progress, the referees must be serious and better than that.

“The game was one-sided regarding refereeing, and I know well that we are human and can make mistakes, but I am frustrated and this affected us and our focus.

“The referee played a negative role in this match, and Al-Ahly does not need that.”

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