• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

CAF champions league: Al Ahly and Esperance clash in historic final

Ahly-Esperance

Two titans of African club football, Al Ahly of Egypt and Esperance of Tunisia are set to clash in the CAF Champions League final, contested over two legs.

Both teams secured their spots in the final with thrilling semi-final victories over TP Mazembe and Mamelodi Sundowns, respectively, in Friday night’s second-leg matches.

Al Ahly staged a remarkable late comeback to defeat Mazembe 3-0 in Cairo, while Esperance held their nerve to secure a 1-0 victory over Sundowns in Pretoria, advancing 2-0 on aggregate.

With a record 11 Champions League titles, Al Ahly enters the final as favourites, aiming for an unprecedented fourth crown in five years.

However, they are well aware of the formidable challenge posed by Esperance, who shocked them in the 2018 final to claim back-to-back titles.

The first leg of the final will take place in Tunis on May 18, followed by the return leg in Cairo a week later, setting the stage for a monumental clash between two seasoned continental powerhouses.

Al Ahly, led by coach Marcel Koller and star player Percy Tau, showcased their resilience and big-game mentality in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Esperance, under the guidance of coach Miguel Cardoso, demonstrated tactical discipline and defensive solidity to reach the final.

Goalkeeper Amanullah Memmich, who excelled in the semi-finals, will be a key figure for Esperance as they seek to upset the odds and claim victory.

With both teams displaying quality and determination, the stage is set for a final of the highest calibre to determine the new kings of African football.