Zamalek 1-2 Al Ahly results, summary and goals: CAF Champions League final
Zamalek-Al Ahly: CAF Champions League final
A scintillating 2020 CAF Champions League final between Cairo based giants Zamalek and Al Ahly was decided in the 86th minute as Mohamed Kafsha drilled the ball home with a spectacular strike to break Zamalek hearts.
The game was an excellent advertisement for the African game with a riveting first 45 minutes of football. No sooner had we settled in our seats than Al Ahly were ahead after Zamalek failed to defend a corner as Amr Al Sulaya headed the men in red ahead.
Instead of wilting in the adversity of the early reverse, the White Knights regrouped and took the game to the eight times champions dominating possession and creating scoring chances. They finally got their reward in the 31st minute with Shikabala firing home a sensational goal worthy of the final.
Pacheco's side were on top in the second 45 where energy levels dropped as Zamalek struck the post, and just when it seemed we were drifting towards extra time, Afsha struck to fire Al Alhy ahead on the night and towards a historic ninth CAF Champions League win.
A panoramic view of the action during the 2020 CAF CL final this evening at Cairo's International Stadium
Al Ahly captain El-Shennawy lifts the title as confetti falls over the Red Devils as the Cairo based champions celebrate with back room staff.
South African manager Pitso Mosimane bags his second CAF CL win after his 2016 success with Mamelodi Sundowns.
Al Ahly will now progress to the delayed FIFA Club World Cup which is now set to be staged in Qatar next February. Bayern Munich and the winners from other confederations (CONMEBOL, AFC etc) await.
Al Ahly players get their winners medals and the trophy presentation is seconds away. Selfies very much the order of the day as the players record their historical night.
That 86th minute strike that Al Ahly fans will treasure for some time with the goal that secured the 9th CAF CL title and even sweeter given the nature of the opponent.
Two fantastic goals, one incredible miss, a roller coaster first 45 minutes and a game played with fine spirit with limited controversial decisions that blighted last season's final between Esperance and Wydad Casablanca. Very little extra the neutral could ask for and a great advertisement for the African game.
Fans of both teams gather in central Cairo to watch the CAF 2020 final on a big screen.
Relief too for Al Ahly's El Shahat after his incredible second half open goal miss.
The presentation about to take place at the Cairo International as the CAF advertising is quickly erected on the pitch. Al Ahly's Afsha has been nominated 'Player of the Final'.
Congratulations to Al Ahly: 2020 CAF Champions League winners and commiserations to gallant losers Zamalek SC who will feel hard done by in a game where they were the stronger side for much of the action.
The 9th African Champions League title for the Red Devils
Al Ahly win
Hany carded for kicking out
Nerves on both benches now with Al Ahly sesning that a 9th CAF CL win is just moments away
Sassi carded for a robust challenge.
Is there a final twist in the game in Cairo? Can Zamalek find an injury time equaliser?
We'll have five minutes of added time here in Cairo. 5 minutes for Mosimane's side to hang on.
Gaber off / El Said on (Zamalek)
Last minute of the game now as Al Ahly break again and Kassongo wins his side a freekick.
A cruel blow for Zamalek but a goal worthy of sealing a final from Afsha.
Zamalek 1-2 Al Ahly (Min 86)
Five minutes remain in Cairo....is there another final chapter of drama in this final that was scintillating in the first 45 minutes? The second period may have lacked some of the spark we saw in the first half
Zamalek's Eid on the ground after a collision and seems to have damaged his shoulder.
Corner for Zamalek as Zizo is poised to strike. Eventually Al Ahly whack the ball out of the danger zone.
Free-kick for Ahly as Afsha has a speculative drive from distance but the ball drifts wide of the Zamalek goal. Best effort from the Red Devils in the second half.
We're back underway with just more than 10 minutes remaining. Still Zamalek dominating proceedings and looking the likelier side to find the winner on the balance of play.
Abou-Gabal asking the referee to halt the action as Gaber goes to ground again, this time suffering with cramp.
Zamalek 53-47 (%) Al Ahly: possession after 75 minutes
Big call from Zamalek for a spot kick as the referee awards a freekick rather than the penalty Zamalek are demanding. The men in white request that the match official consults VAR but the game continues.
Zamalek outnumbered at the back but a poor delivery sees the move break down as El Soulia picks up the first card of the night
20' remain of normal time in Cairo and it would appear that tiredness is starting to be a factor after a rip-roaring first sixty minutes or so of furious CAF CL final activity.
Shikabala celebrates his 31st minute strike for the White Knights of Zamalek SC
Just consulted the CAF regulations relating to the final and there will be extra time should both sides end the 90 minutes level.
Change for Al Ahly: Da Costa on Ajayi
What a strike from Zizo as the Zamalek man rattles the Ahly post with a blistering right foot effort. The White Knights do deserve to be ahead.
Zamalek still edging things on the pitch despite the 1-1 scoreboard
The stoppages have interrupted the flow of the game a little with a stop-start dynamic developing ....
Al Ahly celebrate their 5th mninute goal
Zamalek 1-1 Al Ahly (Min 61)
We move to the hour mark with the game level here in Cairo. Gaber looks to be concussed and will need to be subbed.
DRC international player Kassongo looking lively since coming on as he nods on goal from long range.
The El Shahat miss will haunt the player should Al Ahly fail to secure the 2020 CAF CL tonight. As bad a miss as we've seen over the years. Play held up as a Zamalek defender (Gaber) is being attended to after colliding with his own goalkeeper.
The game now swings back to the way of Al Ahly as the side in red exert some continued pressure and force the White Knights back in defence mode.
Shikabala off for Zamalek with Kassongo on
What a miss....what a miss as Al Ahly miss an open goal a as El Shahat drills the ball off the post with an empty goal beckoning. An astonishing miss from the Ahly player.
The pre-game Maradona tribute at the Cairio International
Alaa alledged to have handballed and Al Ahly win a free kick to clear the danger.
Two great chances for Zamalek in quick succession but on both counts Al Ahly there to deal with the pressure as the half continues as the first 45 ended with the White Knights very much in charge.
Free for Zamalek as Sassi is clipped. Zizo drives across the goal and Al Ahly clear for another corner. The Ahly keeper is barged out of the way as the Algerian referee blows for an infringement on El-Shennawy
Buckle up as we're off and running in Cairo again.
The sides return to the pitch at the empty Cairo International with the side in white set to get the action underway.
It's now up to Al Ahly to dig deep and see what they are made of after enjoying the better opening stage of the half and taking a 5th minute lead. Pitso Mosimane will be hoping his side have the emotional mettle to hand the South African coach his second CAF CL final win. A gripping 45 minutes await ....
Shots: Zamalek 8-3 Al Ahly / Possession: Zamalek 55%-45% Al Ahly
Zamalek 1-1 Al Ahly (Half time)
What a riveting half of football. Al Ahly take an early lead but Zamalek dig deep and play their way back into the final and drew level with an astonishing strike from veteran captain Shikabala just after the 30 minute mark. Jaime Pacheco's side enjoying the better of the game but it remains 1-1.
We'll have a minute of added time. Ahly launch a late chance but the ball ends up with Abou-Gabal as the whistle sounds for the break,
Final minute of the first half. A draw would see the game go straight to penalty kicks....no extra time to be played in Cairo should both sides end the 90 minutes level tonight.
Time has flown by as we hit the 40 minute mark. 215 meetings between these sides with 91 wins for Ahly, 50 for Zamalek and the rest ending in draws.
Everything going Zamalek's way now with Al Ahly's passing ragged and lacking the early crispness. The response from Zamalek to the goal has seen the men in white bounce back both psychologically and the goal was just reward for their effort and endeavour.
What a gripping game we have on our hands here in Cairo. Zamalek very much the side in the ascendancy now with Pacheco's men responding admirably from the early set back.
One of the finest goals you'll see this season from Zamalek. The veteran player beats two men and the finish ...... if Leo Messi scored that type of goal it would 'break' the internet. An amazing strike to grace this CAF CL final.
Zamalek 1-1 Al Ahly (Min 32)
My word, what a strike as Zamalek tie the game as Shikabala rifles the ball into the corner.... Spectacular strike from the White Knight
Another Zizo Zamalek corner as once again the ball is struck deep into the box but easy for Ahly to clear the danger. Pacheco will hope for some reward for all this pressure as Tarek Hamed blazes the ball past the face of the Al Ahly goal.
Having said that, just imagine the noise levels at the Cairo International tonight with a crowd of 90,000 plus passionate Alhy and Zamalek supporters.
Quite clear now that the 'crowd noise' is courtesy of the CAN sound-system and not due to thousands of Red Devils and White Knights fans amassed outside the gates of the Cairo International.
Possession after 26 minutes: Zamalek 57-43 Al Ahly (%)
As well as Zamalek are playing, Al Ahly do look composed and very much in control of defensive matters. The Egyptian champions are a very, very difficult side to break down.
First corner of the night for the White Knights, Zizo swings the ball over but overhits the effort and Alhy clear. Zamalek very much in control and have bounced back well from conceding the early goal.
Min 20: Zamalek 0-1 Al Ahly
Al Ahly finding a considerable amount of space on the right flank with Hany finding himself in plenty of space on more than one occasion tonight.
Bencharki this time for Zamalek as his right footed effort drifts wide. Much improved the men in white in the past five minutes as they look to re-bound from the early set-back.
Zamalek press again as Mohamed drives the ball down and it bounces wide. This is better from Zamalek now!
El-Shennawy a virtual spectator in the Al Ahly goal after 15' with the men in white unable to penetrate the solid sea of red. It will need something special from Zamalek tonight and their passing will need to crisper as Shikabala finally gets a shot off for Zamalek.
Al Ahly threaten again as Junior Ajayi just fails to control the ball in the box and Zamalek clear the danger. The White Knights yet to establish a hold on the action so far in Cairo.
First ten minutes of the night and the Ahly supporters will be highly encouraged from their team's start. Very sharp from the get-go the Egyptian champions.
A disastrous start for Zamalek and a goal that will not please head coach Pacheco who will be angry about the marking at the back.
El-Sulya heads home unmarked and the Red Devils take the lead in Cairo
Hussein El-Shahat steals in at the back post but sees the ball chaperoned out for a corner. First one of the game and Al Ahly take the lead
Both sides finding their way into the game with Al Ahly looking the more incisive.
Al Ahly pressing early on here in Cairo.
Plenty of noise at the empty stadium and trying to deduct if it's from supporters outside the ground or piped via the CAF feed.....
Away we go in Cairo and Al Ahly get the game in motion.
A minute's silence for Maradona will be held pre-game.
The teams line up for the pre-match toss-up ahead of tonight's first ever single final game between the Cairo giants. Zamalek in all white with Al Ahly in red shirts and black shorts.
African Champions League Final - Zamalek v Al Ahly - Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt - November 27, 2020 A member of staff cleans before the match
Since the inception of the CAF Champions League / Champions Club finals in 1964/65, this is the first time where the final will be contested by two sides from the same nation.
So, who will succeed ES Tunis as Champions of Africa? Al Ahly start at pre-match favorites but as we know, the form book goes out the window in a big continental final and Zamalek fans will be confident of a sixth CAF CL title tonight.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have selected Algerian referee Mustapha Ghorbal to officiate tonight's final.
AS English predictions:
David: Zamalek 2-2 Al Ahly (Zam. on pens)
Paul: Zamalek 0-2 Al Ahly
Former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado on CAF CL final
The Spaniard noted that having two Egyptian teams in such a final shows the real quality of Egyptian football and its players. "I have played in many Clásicos, around 19 matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona and I know what this match means to all players. It's like a fierce battle. Al-Ahly and Zamalek's game will be like the game of the century," he said.
"It's like when Real Madrid play against Barcelona in the Champions League final, and it's great that both Ahly and Zamalek are in the final. It shows us the strength of Egyptian football and its quality" he added.
Al-Ahly have bagged the CAF Champions League title on 8 different occasions. Their last win was in 2013 when they managed to defeat Orlando Pirates of South Africa in the final game securing their eighth title.
Zamalek reached the final of the 2016 tournament but weren't lucky enough to be crowned champions as they lost to South African Mamelodi Sundowns managed by tonight's Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane.
The last two meetings between the Cairo giants saw Zamalek beat Al Ahly in August with the Red Devils awarded a walk-over for the February fixture. Al Ahly went on to claim yet another Egyptian top flight triumph....their 42nd league win.
Road to the Cairo final:
Both Cairo sides had to negotiate semi-final passages against the Casablanca giants with Zamalek overcoming Raja Casablanca with Al Ahly too strong for Wydad over two legs.
Both Al Ahly and Zamalek are the most popular clubs in Egypt’s two largest popular partie with 13 Champions League titles between them (Al Ahly leading on eight) and over 50 domestic championships... the city of Cairo will grind to a halt tonight as the Red Devils of Al Ahly face the Zamalek White Knights.
The final too has been overshadowed by the pandemic with the game to be played behind closed doors at the vast Cairo International and both teams having positive covid-cases earlier in the week.
Since the restart of the competition, the long shadow of the coronavirus pandemic has cast a cloud over the competition with players being removed from squads after becoming infected. The virus saw the semi-final second leg between Zamalek and Raja Casablanca being postponed due to the high number of positive cases within the Moroccan side's squad.
It's a Cairo 'Clasico' as giants Zamalek and Al Ahly go head-to-head looking to be crowned 'Kings of Africa' in the 2019/20 final match.
Hello and a very warm welcome to our live coverage of the CAF Champions League final from Cairo where the action will get underway at 20:00 CET.