Six-time African champions Al Ahly continued their good form in this year’s Caf Champions League with a 4-1 win over Berekum Chelsea at the Cairo Military Academy Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Egyptian side bossed the game and showed very little signs of the absence of star players like Mohammed Aboutrika and Emad Motaeb. First half strikes from Abdullah El Saeed, Mohammed Naguib added to a second half Walid Soliman double to give the team a win with Emmanuel Clottey notching the consolation for the Ghanaian side with a spot kick late in the first half.
The Red Devils controlled the game for most parts of the first half and deservedly took a two-goal lead through a long range shot from El Saeed and a Naguib header with Clottey pegging the Cairo-based side back with a well taken spot kick. The Blues’ Richard Kissi Boateng was sent off for a rash challenge.
The second half started well for the Ghanains and when Wael Gomaa got sent off it seemed the playing field had been leveled, but a quick fire double from Soliman put the result beyond doubt.
It was a cagey first 10 minutes of the game with both sides content to sit back and size up the opposition. The home side had the lion’s share of possession but making very little of it with only a corner to show for their possession. A good spell of possession from the Berekum Boys saw them create a couple of chances.
Gladson Awako found danger man Clottey with a toe poke but veteran defender Gomaa stopped his charge forward unfairly, according to referee D. Haimoudi, who gave him a yellow card for his trouble. Clottey wasted the resulting free kick but found space some few seconds later to test the goal keeper for the first time. Al Ahly responded with a flowing move of their own but Barakat could not direct his volley on target fizzing it across goal with none of his team mates getting a touch on it.
The Red Devils continued to apply pressure until a nice passage of play set up El Saeed whose strike from distance beat goalkeeper Ernest Sowah to put them ahead. Al Ahly had various chances to double their goal but could not manage to find the final ball. Mohammed Naguib finally doubled their lead with a powerful header from a corner which wriggled past Sowah. Chelsea were once again up the other end almost immediately but failed to really get through the Ahly defence until Boateng took matters into his own hands running past four players before lifting his shot over the bar.
Chelsea got through again with Abdul Basit going through on goal but he went down in the box under a challenge which the referee deemed fair. Awako was, however, quickest to the loose ball and was brought down by the goalkeeper when he tried to get past him. Clottey stepped up to slot in the resulting penalty and claim his 12th goal of the tournament and put the Blues back into the match.
Al Ahly doubled their lead a few minutes later through Soliman whose first touch from a lofted through ball beat the defenders and allowed him enough space for a half volley which he executed perfectly.
The Chelsea defence was breached again just a few minutes later as great interplay on the right side of attack led to a cut back for Soliman who calmly slotted into the roof of the net out of the reach of the defender covering for Sowah who was out of position. The debutants tried to reduce the deficit but failed to do so and were fortunate as Mohammed Nagy missed a late chance to make it five, but the Red Devils cruised through to consolidate their position at the top of Group B with nine points.
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