Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | CAF Champions League

Nabil Maaloul © Action Images

Al Ahly seek Esperance scalp



Egyptian club Al Ahli seek to cap a year of defying the odds by snatching away success when they take on holders Esperance of Tunisia in Saturday's African Champions League Final second leg.

The Cairo giants, who have won more continental titles than any other African club, were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the final in Alexandria earlier this month.

With home advantage at the Rades Stadium on the outskirts of the Tunisian capital, Esperance are heavy favourites in the return game but the Egyptians have overcome remarkable adversity this year and will hold out strong hopes of again turning around a difficult situation.

Ahli have not played a league match since January, after which all domestic football in Egypt was cancelled in the wake of the death of 74 Ahli supporters in a stadium riot in Port Said.

Their only competitive action since has been a total of 13 matches in continental competition. Al Ahli have kept sharp on a diet of training camps and friendly matches, several in the Middle East.

"They will not have come here to lose," cautioned Esperance coach Nabil Maaloul of his opponent's approach to the match.

"But I'd say the odds are 70 percent to 30 percent in our favour," he told reporters.

Esperance will again be without key striker Youssef Msnaki, who has not recovered from appendicitis, and injured Ghanaian international fullback Harrison Afful.

Saturday's final will have a restricted crowd of 35 000, a limitation imposed by Tunisia's interior ministry.

Almost all football matches in the north African country have been played behind closed doors over the last year because of security fears.

The winners of the final will qualify for the Fifa Club World Cup next month.

The African representatives will take on either New Zealand side Auckland City or the Japanese league winners in the quarterfinals of the lucrative seven-team tournament.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Segun Odegbami
Vincent Enyeama versus the NFF
Who could have imagined that a small innocent comment by the captain of the Nigerian national team...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Are women refs better than men?
This coming weekend (4th and 5th July 2015) will see the final of two major soccer competitions in...

Sunday Oliseh
Cech just what the Dr ordered
Arsenal have been a bit lightweight in the goalkeeping department since the departure of Jens...

Neil Tovey
Why I answered Safa’s call
I am pleased to have agreed to a deal in principle to serve as Safa’s technical director for the...

Carol Radull
Why Harambee Stars won't go far
So, Harambee Stars lost 2-0 to Ethiopia in our Chan qualifier match on Sunday. What’s so surprising...

Clyde Tlou
Time for SA legends to step forward
A lack of ambition is hampering the South African 1996 Africa Cup of Nations legends.