On Saturday evening, Al-Ahly of Egypt was crowned the African Champions League champion for the tenth time in its history.
The Red Genie swept its South African counterpart, Kaizer Chiefs, by 3-0 in the match that was held at Mohammed V Stadium in Morocco.
A kind of relative calm prevailed at the beginning of the match until the South African team’s midfielder Happy Mashian was sent off, just before the end of the first half.
Al-Ahly invested in the opponent’s numerical shortage, and opened the scoring with a goal by striker Mohamed Sharif, followed by another by Mohamed Magdy Afsha, and then a third by Amr Al-Sulayya.
Mashian’s expulsion came after a strong intervention against Al-Ahly player Akram Tawfiq in the midfield, so that the referee returned to the mouse technique before issuing the red card in the face of the Kaizer Chiefs player.
Al-Ahly of Egypt reached the final of the African Champions League 14 times, while this was the first time for Kaizer Chiefs in the final of this tournament.
Al-Ahly and Kaizer Chiefs advanced to the final match at the expense of Tunisias Esperance and Moroccos Wydad in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Under the leadership of the new coach, Stuart Baxter, the South African team remained cohesive against Al-Ahly until Mashian was expelled, tilting the scales strongly in favor of the continent’s most championship-winning clubs.
Thus, Al-Ahly of Egypt becomes the first club in history to win the African Champions League ten times.
After Al-Ahly, on the list of clubs that have won the most championships, are its traditional rivals, Zamalek of Egypt, and TP Mazembe of Congo, with five times each.
This is the third title that Al-Ahly has won with South African coach Pitso Mosimane.
Thus, Musimani becomes the second Al-Ahly coach to win this tournament twice in a row, after Portuguese Manuel Jose, who won it in 2005 and 2006.