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Caf Champions League: Ruthless Al-Ahly intensify hunt for ninth title – football news

Continental giants Al-Ahly notched up the biggest win of this season’s Caf Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-0 demolition of Horoya in Saturday’s second leg match in Cairo.

Turning up the heat on Horoya, who made them sweat all afternoon to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture in Conakry a week earlier, Al-Ahly made a big statement of intent for a ninth Champions League title.

But they will now have to first deal with ES Setif in the semis, after the Algerians sent packing defending champions Wydad Casablanca who interestingly beat Al-Ahly in last season’s final.

Marauding in their execution of duty on Saturday, Al-Ahly did not look like a side missing a number of key injured players.

Horoya were initially stubborn in the face of a relentless attacking Al-Ahly who had to wait for the 32nd minute to finally make a breakthrough.

Walid Soliman broke the deadlock for Al-Ahly, before providing assists for Islam Mohareb and substitute Salah Mohsen as the hosts sat comfortably on top of the situation and dominated possession.

Horoya’s Senegalese World Cup goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye was partly responsible for Mohareb’s goal with a howler and Al-Ahly completed the rout in stoppage time through defender Ahmed Fathy who was fed by Moroccan international Walid Azarou.

With three North African teams in the Champions League semis now, the final will feature a side from this region for a ninth straight season.

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Caf Champions League: Guineans hold breath as Horoya face historical moment against Al-Ahly – football news

Horoya’s dream run in the Caf Champions League faces a stern test when they take on record African champions Al-Ahly in a quarter-final, second leg clash on Saturday.

They arrive in Cairo with less pressure against their much-fancied opponents who hold eight Champions League titles and finished as runners-up last season.

Horoya held Al-Ahly 0-0 in Conakry in the first leg and that could give them the confidence of pulling an upset away from home, with a scoring draw required to send them through to the semifinals.

After Angolan side Primeiro Agosto wrote their own piece of history by storming into the semis for the first time ever at the expense of African giants TP Mazembe, the Guineans are holding their breath with all the attention on Horoya.

Reaching the quarter-finals is already history made by Horoya whose Malian goalkeeper Germain Berthe has stressed the anticipation of Guineans ahead of this tie.

“For this match, we are all aware of what is stake, and especially the expectations in Guinea,” Berthe told Horoya’s official website.

Berthe was on goal in the first leg last week, condemning to the bench Senegal’s World Cup goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye.

From the preliminary round of this tournament, Horoya tasted defeat just once away, losing 2-0 at Wydad Casablanca.

Their stubborn showing against Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria ended 0-0 and dumped the 2016 African champions out of the competition.

On Saturday, Horoya’s French coach Victor Zvunka is likely to start with the attacking trio of Ghanaian Ocansey Mandela, Daouda Camara and Nigerian forward Bolaji Simeon Sakin.

The three might prove to be potent in the face of an injury-ravaged Al-Ahly defence.

Mohamed Naguib came in for Saad Samir in the first leg, but needed surgery performed on his knee this week and is out for the rest of the season. Samir himself has been ruled out of the match.

Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi is still out injured together with Egypt international striker Marwan Mohsen and midfielder Amr Elsoleya, providing a headache for Al-Ahly coach Patrice Carteron.

“We will do our best to find the suitable replacements for the absentees, and I’m positive anyone who plays will give his best for the team,” Carteron told Cafonline.

“All we need is to focus on the game and not to underestimate our opponents who are a very good team. They are a young side and I believe they will have their word in the future.”

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