Forward Hussein El Shahat was the star on Sunday evening as he led Egyptian club Al Ahly to a 2-1 first leg home victory over defending champions Wydad AC to start off the final of the 2022-23 CAF Champions League. Goals from Percy Tau and Kahraba, both assisted by El Shahat, lifted Ahly to victory but the visitors rallied late to score an important goal courtesy of substitute Saifeddine Bouhra. Moroccan champions Wydad will attempt to overturn the deficit when the teams meet in Casablanca next Sunday.
Backed by a full capacity Cairo International Stadium, Al Ahly went on the offensive and controlled play for large periods of the first half, nearly taking the lead in the 18th minute when a loose ball fell to Kahraba but the forward’s shot was tame and handled by Wydad goalkeeper Youssef El Motie. Deep into stoppage time the hosts struck after excellent work from El Shahat on the left flank whose cross was precise for a powerful header from Tau past El Motie.
Wydad improved their level in the second half but Ahly doubled their lead close to the hour mark. An accurate long pass from right back Mohamed Hany caused El Motie to wander off his line and the goalkeeper failed to reach the ball. El Shahat collected on the left flank and crossed for Kahraba who was able to control and fire into the goal past two Wydad defenders with El Motie out of position.
The visitors did well to find a goal late on and boost their hopes for the second leg in Casablanca. Excellent passing on the right wing allowed Wydad right back Ayoub El Amloud to get to the end line and his low cross was deflected into the path of Bouhra for an accurate finish past Ahly keeper Mostafa Shobeir.
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