Two converted penalties from Soliman and a goal from Al Sulaya gave Ah Ahly a 3-1 advantage going into the second leg of th CAF Champions League final.
Al-Ahly vs ES Tunis match report:
Al Ahly have the advantage going into the second leg of the CAF Champions league, after they defeated ES Tunis 3-1 one at home. The dramatic and physical contest saw three of the four goals come from penalties, two of which were VAR awarded.
As expected the home side controlled the game, and opened the scoring just after the half hour mark, when Azarou – who found himself on the end of a Hamoudi pass that cut the Tunis defence in half – was taken down illegally as he took the ball around goalkeeper Cherifa. After the referee consulted VAR, Soliman stepped up to calmly convert the penalty, giving the hosts the lead.
The Tunis defence had struggled to deal with Al Ahly’s talented front line, and in the 58th minute they made a shambles of dealing with a cross that allowed Al Sulaya to slot one past the keeper from close range. At that point Tunis seemed dead and buried, until 8 minutes later the referee awarded another penalty, this time to the visitors, and Belaili drove it into the left hand corner – a vital away goal that put them back in the game.
But their hopes were soon dashed in the 78th minute, when the referee gave Al Ahly a second VAR-awarded penalty. Soliman again had no problem scoring from the spot and the game was now passed Tunis. Although the visitors nearly had a second away goal in the 89th minute that would have completely changed the scenario in the second leg: Merji played a clever first time pass to Belaili which left him one on one with the keeper, but El Shenawy made himself big to allow no way past him. And with Belaili failing to take advantage of that golden opportunity, the game finished 3-1. With a two goal advantage travelling to Tunisia next Friday, Al Ahly will be hotly favoured to go on to lift a record 13th CAF Champions League title.
Al-Ahly vs ES Tunis live online: latest updates
41' Tunis get into a right old pickle at the back and Cherifia is forced into a sprawling save from a deflected shot. Sharp work from the keeper there.
36' Tunis win a corner but it comes to nothing as the home defence pump it clear.
Cherifia arguing the toss quite vehemently with the ref but nothing doing.
3' There's a lengthy pause in proceedings as Chemmam recieves treatment on a head injury while Soliman appears to be suffering from cramp!
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the first leg of the 2018 CAF Champions League final between Al-Ahly and ES Tunis from the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria. Kick-off is at 20:00 CET.
Al-Ahly vs ES Tunis live online: match preview
Egyptian champions Al-Ahly host Espérance de Tunis in the opening leg of the CAF Champions League final at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Friday evening with the winner going on to represent Africa at the Club World Cup in the UAE in December.
Al-Ahly, eight times CAF Champions League winners, will be looking to banish the memory of last season’s final, when they fell to Wydad Casablanca 2-1 on aggregate after carving out a 1-1 draw at home in the opening leg. ES Tunis, meanwhile, have not won the competition since 2011 when they saw off the Moroccan side 1-0 over two legs.
Runners-up in 2010 and 2012, when they faced Al-Ahly in the final and went down 3-2 on aggregate, ES Tunis got the better of the Egyptian giants in the group stage of this year’s tournament, carving out a 1-0 win at home after a 0-0 draw in Cairo – a result the Tunisian club will happily take as they seek to put one over the side that knocked them out in last year’s quarter-finals.
Patrice Carteron’s side will be contesting their 12th continental final with a record eight wins to their name – something that has led the club to be regarded as an African Real Madrid in the big trophy stakes.
The French coach has fashioned a side that are hard to break down and quick on the break, with Walid Soleman a particular menace for opposition defences. 23-year-old Morocco striker Walid Azaro has been making a name for himself in the tournament and has six goals so far. After being named in Morocco’s preliminary World Cup squad he was omitted for the finals in Russia but has since added another cap to his tally after ending last season as the Egypt Premier League’s top scorer as Ah-Ahly claimed the title.
Among the Tunisians’ most potent weapons is current CAF Champions League top scorer Anice Badri, who found the net twice for his country in pre-World Cup friendlies and can operate across the attacking line. Mostly from the right wing, Badri has bagged seven in the competition and was instrumental in turning the semi-final in his side’s favour in the second leg against 1º de Agosto as ES Tunis came back from a 2-0 aggregate deficit to win 4-3.
That is precisely what Moïn Chabani will be aiming to prevent in the Borg El Arab Stadium, where his side have traditionally emerged unscathed with four draws in their last six visits. History favours the Egyptian champions though, with ES Tunis not having beaten them since the quarter-finals in 2011.