Egyptian giants Al Ahly beat 10-man Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in Casablanca on Saturday evening to successfully defend their TotalEnergies CAF Champions League crown and secure their 10th overall title.
Goals from Mohamed Sherif, Magdy Afsha and Mohamed Elsoulia handed Ahly the title with Chiefs having to play the whole of the second half with 10 men after Happy Mashiane was sent off right at the stroke of halftime.
While Chiefs celebrated a 10th Champions League title, head coach Pitso Mosimane was celebrating his third as coach and second with Ahly, having led them to the crown last season.
The opening period was competitive in the middle of the park and chances were far and few in between. Samir Nurkovic had a chance for the South African side with a curling shot in the 16th minute which flew straight to the keeper’s arms.
Husein Elshahat had a shot when a corner was played to the edge of the 18-yard box in the 20th minute but it went over while Elsoulia also had a shot from distance which equally flew over.
Amakhosi’s turning point of the game came at the stroke of halftime when Mashiane was sent off for a dangerous studs-up foul on Tawfik Akram. He was initially yellow-carded but upon advice from the Video Assistant Referees, the centre referee went pitch-side to the screen and changed his yellow to red.
Ahly took maximum advantage of the numerical strength in the second half and it took them just eight minutes to break the deadlock. Akram sent Sherif through with a peach of a pass and the forward dinked the ball over an onrushing Daniel Akpeyi.
The Red Devils made it 2-0 in the 64th minute off a quick counter attack when the ball was launched behind the defense.
Keeper Akpeyi and defender Eric Mathoho did not decide who was to go for the ball and Mohamed Taher picked up on the left before spraying to Afsha who played a one two with Sherif before slamming the ball into the far left.
Ten minutes later, it was game over for Chiefs as Ahly got their third off another quickly executed play. Sheriff picked the ball at the edge of the box before setting up Elsoulia with a beautiful backheel roll.
Elsoulia picked his spot and curled in a beauty past the keeper to all but seal the title into Ahly’s name. Chiefs made attempts to try and cut out the deficit, but the Egyptians were more settled and dealt with the danger with calmness.