African Champions League heats up

Egypt’s Al Ahly are 90 minutes away from the African Champions League final but will probably have to put up a strong rearguard action to hold off ASEC Abidjan.

    Al-Ahly hold a two-goal lead from the first leg

    The side from the Ivory Coast have an enviable goalscoring record at home, netting ten times without reply in their three group games.

    Al Ahly hold a two-goal advantage from the first leg but will be without influential midfielder Mohamed Shawki, who is suspended for the second leg, and the injured striker Osama Hosni.

    Their Portuguese coach Manuel Jose is also being investigated by the Confederation of African Football after an obscene gesture towards the referee of the first leg was caught by television cameras.

    By kick-off on Sunday both teams will know whether they will meet CS Sfaxien of Tunisia or South Africa’s Orlando Pirates in the final.

    The two sides finished goalless in the first leg in Johannesburg.

    Strong support

    CS Sfaxien, who have enjoyed fanatical support throughout their campaign at the compact Tarek Mhaieb stadium in Sfax, are seeking to reach their first Champions League final.

    They are buoyed by the return of international defender Isaam Merdassi and striker Tarak Ziadi from suspension.

    Sfax profited in the first leg from some horrendous finishing by their South African hosts, who squandered several good chances.

    "It will be difficult in Tunisia and we need players who can stand up and be counted when the going gets tough," Pirates midfielder Cavaan Sibeko told reporters.

    Pirates are without playmaker Isaac Chansa, who has yet to recover from the knee injury that kept him out of the first leg.

    The Champions League winner will take part in the Fifa Club World Cup in Tokyo in December.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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