Egyptian giants Al Ahly secured a big advantage over Wydad Casablanca in the African Champions League semi-final on Saturday with a 2-0 win in the first leg in Morocco.
Ahly stunned the hosts with a goal after just four minutes in Casablanca when Magdy Afsha pounced on a defensive slip to put his side ahead.
Wydad missed a good chance to equalise when they were awarded a spot-kick just before the break only for Badie Aouk’s tame shot to be saved by Ahly keeper Mohamed El-Shennawy.
The visitors then doubled their lead in the second half with experienced Tunisia international Ali Maaloul scoring from the penalty spot.
Ahly, who have won the title a record eight times, are now in a strong position to reach the final going into the second leg in Egypt next weekend.
This was the first major test for Ahly’s new coach Pitso Mosimane after two victories and a draw in the Egyptian Premier League since he replaced Swiss Rene Weiler at the helm.
The chances of an all-Egyptian final in the continental showpiece look good, after Ahly’s great Cairo rivals Zamalek won the first leg of their semi-final, also in Casablanca, against newly crowned Moroccan champions Raja.
The semi-finals mark a return to continental club football competition in Africa for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown.
On Friday, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) said a draw was held where Egypt won the right to host the final on 6 November should it feature one team from Morocco and one from Egypt.
If the two teams are from the same nation, the final will be hosted in that country.