Sunday, November 16, 2008

Al Ahly Win 6th African Championship

Congratulations to Al Ahly, who won the 2008 African Champions League this morning, defeating Cameroon's Coton Sport 4-2 on aggregate, drawing 2-2 in today's match.

The victory gives Egypt's Ahly their record 6th title, the most of any club in African continental football.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg in Cairo a fortnight ago – where goals from Wael Gomaa and Flavio separated the teams – Manuel Jose’s side were always favorites to win their third Champions League crown in four years. But Ahly weathered a persistent 2nd-half storm from Coton to hold on to the game.

The Egyptians dealt Coton’s slim hopes of a comeback a grievous blow in the 38th minute when, on the counter, Ahmed Hassan flicked home a goal with the outside of his right foot following a short-corner routine between Gilberto and Mohamed Aboutrika.

The Egyptian’s goal stunned Coton and hushed the previously boisterous and optimistic home crowd.

However, Coton drew level on the stroke of half time when Karim Abdoul fired in a low shot from just inside the penalty area after great work from striker Kamilou Daouda.

Just past the hour mark Baba Ousmaila capitalised on the utter dominance of Coton and made it 2-1, heading into an empty net after a great set piece from the hosts.

But Ousmaila and Daouda were guilty of spurning several great chances for Coton, who could have won the game by a landslide and pulled off an almost miraculous comeback had they been more composed in front of goal.

Al Ahly skipper Shady Mohamed sealed the title for his side in the final minute of injury time, scoring from the penalty spot to make it 2-2 after Andre Ndame had pushed over Mohamed Barakat.

The Egyptians will go on to represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup at the end of the year.

Congratulations, Al Ahly! Enjoy your championship!

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