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CAFCL: 5-Star performance from Tau lifts Ahly to demolition of ES Sétif

Egypt’s Al Ahly showed all of their class Saturday for a decisive 4-0 first leg victory in Cairo over Algerian side ES Sétif to give themselves a massive edge in their CAF Champions League semifinal matchup. South African forward Percy Tau scored twice and created the other two goals for Ahly, who look well on their way to their third straight CAFCL final. The teams will meet again in a week in Algeria but it will take a miracle for Sétif to claw their way back into the tie.

The hosts suffocated Sétif from the beginning and showed renewed energy after a poor run of form in league play. It appeared Ahly had taken the lead in the 3rd minute but Taher Mohamed was ruled offside after shooting past Sétif goalkeeper Sofiane Khedairia. The disallowed goal was a sign of what was to come as the post denied both Ahmed Abdelkaer and Hussein El Shahat in the opening 22 minutes.

On the half hour mark Ahly finally found their breakthrough when Mohamed created room on the left flank and sent in a perfect curling cross to find Tau, who bounced his header past Khedairia from five yards out. Sétif’s misery was compounded five minutes later when midfielder Amir Karaoui’s challenge resulted in him stomping on El Shahat’s ankle, leading to a Video Assistant Referee review that ended with Karaoui being given a straight red card.

Sétif made it to the half with only a one-goal deficit but Ahly improved their finishing in the second half. In the 54th minute Tau did excellently to turn past ESS defender Hocine Laribi after receiving a pass from Ali Maâloul and his shot attempt deflected in the air, where Mohamed was there to head past a helpless Khedairia from close range.

It only got worse for ESS from then on. In the 72nd minute Tau provided an incisive pass to send substitute forward Mohamed Sherif in on goal for a chipped finish past the onrushing Khedairia. Finally, Ahly added one more in the match’s final seconds when Luis Miquissone laid a pass off to right back Mohamed Hany, who provided a low cross for Tau to apply an easy tap-in to leave little doubt about Ahly’s chances of advancing to the final.

Highlights from Cairo are below.

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