CAF Champions League: Defending champions Al Ahly edge Simba


Egyptian giants Al Ahly SC asserted their dominance in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Quarter-Finals with a hard-fought victory over Tanzanian side Simba SC in the first leg clash held at Dar es Salaam on Friday, 29 March.

Despite facing a roaring 60,000 capacity crowd, the defending champions displayed their experience, securing a 1-0 win to take a crucial advantage back to Cairo for the second leg.

The encounter started with Simba SC pressing forward, looking to unsettle their opponents from the onset. In the very first minute, a well-delivered ball into the box found the head of Sadio Kanoute, whose effort narrowly missed the target.

Action between Simba SC and Al Ahley. PHOTO: Al Ahly, X

However, it was Al Ahly who struck first, as Mohamed Hany’s dangerous cross forced an own-goal scare before Ahmed Kouka capitalized on the rebound to put his team ahead.

Despite conceding early, Simba remained undeterred, continuing their relentless pursuit of an equalizer.

Clatous Chama came close to leveling the score in the 22nd minute, only to be denied by a quick reaction save from Al Ahly’s substitute goalkeeper, Mostafa Shobeir, who filled in admirably for the absent Mohamed El Shenawy.

The hosts continued to press after the halftime break, but Al Ahly’s resolute defense stood firm, frustrating Simba’s attacking efforts at every turn.

Action between Simba SC and Al Ahley. PHOTO: Al Ahly, X

Despite their best efforts, Simba couldn’t find a breakthrough against the experienced Ahly backline, leaving the Tanzanian side trailing by a solitary goal as the final whistle blew.

With the first leg victory secured, Al Ahly now hold the advantage heading into the return fixture in Cairo, where they will aim to seal their spot in the semi-finals in front of their home supporters. Simba, on the other hand, will take heart from their spirited performance and look to stage a comeback in the second leg.

The TotalEnergies CAF Champions League action continues on Saturday, 30 March, with TP Mazembe facing Atletico Petroleos at 13:00 GMT, followed by Young Africans taking on Mamelodi Sundowns at 18:00 GMT, and Esperance squaring off against Asec Mimosas at 21:00 GMT, all matches taking place at the same venue in Dar es Salaam.

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