Egypt's Al Ahly won an eighth CAF Champions League trophy after defeating Orlando Pirates of South Africa 2-0 in the second leg of the final in Cairo. Ahly, who have now won the tournament five times in the last decade, won this year's final 3-1 on aggregate.
'The Red Devils' of Cairo will represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco next month. The legendary Mohamed Aboutrika opened the scoring in the 54th minute when he stabbed home from just outside the six-yard box. Ahmed Abdel Zaher doubled the Ahly lead in the 78th minute when he shot past the Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa from inside the box.
The Egyptian champions were reduced to ten men six minutes from time when defender Sherif Abdel Fadil was sent off for a foul on Daine Klate. Pirates, champions in 1995, put up a spirited fight but Ahly's second goal seemed to deflate them. The South African champions created several chances, but could not take them.
The best chance of the first half fell to The Buccaneers in the 35th minute when Tlou Segolela failed to convert from inside the six-yard box, after a superb pull back by Klate from the right, with the Ahly goalkeeper well beaten. Pirates failed again in front of goal in the 63rd minute when Lennox Bacela dribbled past goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy, but his final ball flashed across the face of goal after the Ahly shot stopper forced him wide.
Cagey opening spell
There were no clear-cut chances in front of goal in the first 15 minutes until Mohamed Nagieb's header narrowly missed the Pirate's goal. On 20 minutes, Ahly goalkeeper Ekramy had to come out to block Segolela inside the penalty area.
Two minutes later, Abdel Zaher's dipping shot forced Pirates goalkeeper Meyiwa to turn it away for a corner. The Pirates goalkeeper then made a brave save inside his own area, nicking the ball off the feet of goal-bound Zaher a minute before the interval.
But it was to be Aboutrika and Abdel Zaher who gained the plaudits in the second leg, and helped Ahly book their ticket to Morocco.