Al Ahly conquer Africa, clinch Club World Cup ticket
Al Ahly defeated Zamalek 2-1 to win the CAF Champions League
Mohamed 'Afsha' Magdy scored the late winner
The Red Devils secured a spot at the FIFA Club World Cup
Al Ahly beat arch-rivals Zamalek 2-1 to conquer the CAF Champions League 2019/20 and, with it, a spot at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™, which will be held in Doha from 1 to 11 February 2021.
The win gave the Red Devils a record-extending ninth African crown in a game that lived up to expectations in terms of excitement, beautiful goals and intensity.
Al Ahly prevailed in what had been dubbed ‘The Final of the Century’, a local derby between the two giants from Cairo, a city that lives and breathes football like few other. The CAF Champions League showpiece was also the first to be contested between two teams from the same country.
CAF Champions League final
Al Ahly 2-1 Zamalek (Cairo Stadium, Egypt)
Al Ahly: Amr El Soleya (5’), Afsha (86’)
Zamalek: Shikabala (31’)
Al Ahly took the initiative from the start and gained an early lead when Amr El Soleya nodded home a header from Ali Maaloul’s corner.
Zamalek refused to be knocked off course, though, and after spurning a number of chances drew level via a sensational solo effort by Shikabala. The White Knights captain cut inside from the right, skipped around two challenges and fired a precise shot from outside the box into the far corner of Mohamed Elshanawy’s net.
The tempo increased at the start of the second half, with real chances coming at both ends of the pitch. First, Al Ahly’s Hussein Elshahat contrived to hit the post when faced with an open goal, and then it was Zamalek’s Zizo’s turn to hit the woodwork from long range.
With the match looking like it was heading into extra-time, Afsha had other ideas. He showed fantastic control, bringing a loose ball down off his knee before smashing a volley past Zamalek keeper Abu Gabal from fully 20 yards.
Man of the match
With his raw pace and direct running, attacking midfielder Mohamed 'Afsha' Magdy was threatening throughout. He almost put Al Ahly ahead from a free-kick late on, but was not to be denied when he controlled the ball outside the box and smashed home to give the Red Devils a historic win over Zamalek.
Al Ahly 2-1 Zamalek (2020 CAF Champions League final)
Players of Al Ahly celebrate with the trophy of CAF Champions League
CAIRO, EGYPT - NOVEMBER 27: Players of Al Ahly celebrate with the trophy of CAF Champions League after winning the final match between Zamalek and Al Ahly at Cairo stadium on November 27, 2020 in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images)
Mohamed Magdy of Al Ahly celebrates a goal
CAIRO, EGYPT - NOVEMBER 27: Mohamed Magdy of Al Ahly celebrates a goal during CAF Champions League Final between Zamalek and Al Ahly at Cairo stadium on November 27, 2020 in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images)
What they said
Mohamed Magdy: “First, I’d like to congratulate Zamalek on their great performance today. It was a good game from both sides. As for my goal, I have scored similar ones before, one of them with the national team. I want to congratulate our fans on this fantastic title."
Did you know?
Last night Al Ahly won their 139th title, confirming their status as the most-crowned club in Egypt.
Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has now won the CAF Champions League twice. Coincidently, he claimed both titles at the expense of Zamalek: in 2016 with Mamelodi Sundowns and last night with Al Ahly.