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AFL: Al Ahly earn positive first leg result against Simba with draw in Dar es Salaam

The inaugural edition of the African Football League began with a thrilling 2-2 quarterfinal first leg draw between Tanzania’s Simba SC and reigning African club champions Al Ahly on Friday in Dar es Salaam. Reda Slim opened the scoring for visitors Al Ahly just before halftime and Kahraba provided the equalizer after Kibu Denis and Sadio Kanouté scored to put Simba ahead early in the second half. The two teams will meet again on Tuesday for the second leg in Cairo.

There is plenty of attacking firepower on both clubs and a packed Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium was entertained even if the result was not to their liking. The visitors from Egypt were the better team in the first half and should have taken the lead in the 17th minute through Percy Tau who fired over after receiving a pass from Mohamed Magdy “Afsha”. The reward did arrive for Ahly in first half stoppage time when a turnover from Simba inspired a counter attack that ended with Slim’s low finish from a Kahraba pass.

Simba coach Robertinho rallied his troops and The Reds were inspired after halftime. Within ten minutes the match was level after Clatous Chama’s cross found a wide open Kibu who was left with a simple header into an empty net. Seven minutes later the stadium erupted when a corner kick from Simba playmaker Saidi Ntibazonkiza found Kanouté for a firm header past Ahly keeper Mohamed El Shenawy at his near post.

The hosts looked far too satisfied with taking the lead and a loss of focus allowed Ahly to hit back within three minutes. A free kick from Afsha found Ahly defender Yasser Ibrahim whose shot was tipped by Simba keeper Ally Salim Juma right to Kahraba who equalized with an easy finish. Both teams continued to entertain with plenty of action but the match ended all square in a result that gives Ahly the edge heading back home for the second leg.

Highlights of the first leg are below.

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