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WATCH: Al Ahly rally to bag 3-1 win over Al Merrikh in Caf Champions League

Mohamed Sherif of Al Ahly celebrates scoring a goal during the Caf Champions League 2021/22 football match between Al Merrikh and Al Ahly held at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on 18 March 2022. Picture: Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

Mohamed Sherif of Al Ahly celebrates scoring a goal during the Caf Champions League 2021/22 football match between Al Merrikh and Al Ahly held at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on 18 March 2022. Picture: Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

Published Mar 19, 2022

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Cape Town - Defending champions Al Ahly scored two goals within a minute in the second half to survive a scare from Al Merrikh in Cairo to win 3-1 in their Caf Champions League clash.

With the win, Ahly's hopes of defending their Champions League title is squarely on course again.

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Ahly had gone ahead through Percy Tau’s first-half strike, but Merrikh drew level in the second half through Ramadan Agab.

But Ahly, who were playing as the away team in Cairo, scored in the 72nd and 73rd minutes through Mohamed Sherif and Ahmed Abdelkader to bag all three points.

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The win now takes the Red Devils to seven points with one match remaining, what looks a likely finale against another Sudanese side, Al Hilal. Merrikh, have now lost their third successive match, and their quarterfinal hopes have diminished.

Having suffered back-to-back defeats against Mamelodi Sundowns, Ahly were under pressure to deliver a win and retain their hopes.

They were off to a flier and got a 19th-minute lead after Tau capitalised on a poor defensive header from Hamza Dawood, before striking a low shot into the net. The holders held on to this lead until halftime.

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In the second half, Ahly came back stronger and were denied by the bar in the 52nd minute when Agab curled the ball onto the woodwork after picking up a cross from Tony Edjomariegwe.

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The striker, however, got his much-desired goal on the hour mark when he pounced on the ball after keeper Mohamed Elshenawy punched a shot from Hussein Nooh Mohamed right into his path.

But Ahly quickly regrouped and went back into the lead in the 72nd minute when Sheriff finished off Ali Maaloul’s cross with a first-time shot.

Immediately after the restart, substitute Abdelkader who had just spent 10 minutes on the pitch, pickpocketed a Merrikh defender of the ball on the edge of the box before dribbling in and scoring with a delightful finish.

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The Egyptian giants held on to the lead and the three points to boost their bid for a ticket into the quarterfinals.

CAF Online

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