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AFL: Kahraba fires Al Ahly past Simba into the semifinals

Reigning Egyptian and African club champions Al Ahly are through to the semifinals of the African Football League following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Simba SC of Tanzania at the Cairo International Stadium. Ahly striker Kahraba scored the crucial equalizer in the second half after Sadio Kanouté put Simba ahead, leveling the aggregate score at 3-3 and giving Al Ahly the victory on the away goals rule courtesy of a 2-2 first leg draw in Tanzania. Al Ahly will likely face continental rivals Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa who are heavy favorites to advance past Petro de Luanda later today.

The 2-2 first leg result in Dar es Salaam made Ahly the favorites to finish the job at home on Tuesday but despite their dominance in the first half, Simba put up a strong defensive resistance. Ahly defender Ramy Rabia fired over in the 18th minute after a corner kick fell kindly and Percy Tau flicked his header over the Simba goal from close range after getting on the end of an Ali Maâloul cross.

Simba coach Robertinho introduced striker Jean Baleke at halftime and the Tanzanian club were a bit more dangerous in the second half. In the 68th minute the worst fears of Ahly supporters came true when Simba took the lead after a Clatous Chama got on the end of a Shomari Kapombe cross and his header deflected off the face of Kanouté and past Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.

Like in the first leg, Ahly fought back with little delay. Less than ten minutes after the opener, Ahly left back Maâloul received a pass on the wing and had plenty of time to measure a low cross to find the run of Kahraba whose finish deflected off Simba defender Henoc Inonga Baka on its way past goalkeeper Ally Salim Juma. Simba attempted to make a desperate push for a winning goal but the hosts held on to secure a tight victory thanks to the two goals they produced in the first leg.

Highlights from the second leg are below.

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