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More glory beckons for Egypt as Al-Ahly eye African Super Cup - Daily News Egypt

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More glory beckons for Egypt as Al-Ahly eye African Super Cup

CAIRO: More international football glory beckons for Egypt just two weeks after winning the African Cup of Nations. Local club Al-Ahly host FAR Rabat of Morocco Friday in the annual, one-off African Super Cup match between the holders of the African Champions League and the African Confederation Cup. The appealing fixture will be staged at …


CAIRO: More international football glory beckons for Egypt just two weeks after winning the African Cup of Nations. Local club Al-Ahly host FAR Rabat of Morocco Friday in the annual, one-off African Super Cup match between the holders of the African Champions League and the African Confederation Cup. The appealing fixture will be staged at the 74,000-seat Cairo Stadium, where Egypt pipped Ivory Coast 4-2 on penalties to become African champions a record fifth time. Egypt coach Hassan Shehata included seven Ahly stars in his starting line-up against the Ivorians and introduced another, midfielder Hassan Mostafa, late in the second half of regulation time. That left central defender and club captain Ahmed Al-Sayed as the only one of nine Ahly players in the squad who did not play an active role in the biennial showcase of African football. Essam Al-Hadary, the long-serving Ahly goalkeeper with the movie-star looks, proved the Pharaohs hero, stopping two penalties in the shootout, including the kick of celebrated Ivorian captain Didier Drogba. While goal-shy Morocco made a first-round exit they held Egypt in a pool match and a squad dominated by exiles had three FAR stars, goalkeeper Tarek Al-Jarmouni, defender Houcine Ouchela and midfielder Hafid Abdessadek. Al Ahly qualified for the Super Cup with a 3-0 aggregate triumph over Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia in a more one-sided Champions League final than expected, with the losers defending in depth at home to force a goalless first leg. FAR were no less ruthless, overcoming a one-goal first-leg deficit against Dolphin of Nigeria by winning 3-0 at home with two of the goals coming from relatively unknown Adil Siraj. The clubs rank among the most powerful in north Africa with Ahly, the team of the Cairo working class, winning the Champions League four times, a record bettered only by fierce local rivals Zamalek. Military club FAR became the first Moroccan holders of the Champions League (then Champions Cup) in 1985 after building a 5-2 first-leg advantage in Rabat over Bilima from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Regular international campaigners FAR did not collect another trophy until winning the second edition of the Confederation Cup, having entered via a side door after being eliminated from the Champions League. Despite conquering Africa last year after a 14-match unbeaten run under Portuguese coach Manuel Jose, Ahly have much to prove following disastrous results at the FIFA club world championship in Japan two months ago. Quarter-final losers to bogey team Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia, the Red Devils then fell to modest Sydney FC of Australia and finished last of the six competitors. A team that won the African Champions League playing flowing football was reduced to alien route-one fare in the Far East and when the Egyptians did come within sight of goal, the finishing was woeful. Midfielders Mohamed Barakat, named the best Africa-based footballer of 2005 last week, Mohamed Aboutrika and Mohamed Shawky and striker Emad Moteab are capable of much better. But between them and glory stands Al-Jarmouni, who conceded only one goal in three Nations Cup Group A matches and that was scored by Chelsea striker Drogba from a harshly awarded penalty. Tradition favors Ahly as the last seven editions of the Super Cup were won by the Champions League holders, who have enjoyed home advantage since 1996 after embarrassingly small crowds at neutral venues. AFP

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https://dailyfeed.dailynewsegypt.com/2006/02/23/more-glory-beckons-for-egypt-as-al-ahly-eye-african-super-cup/
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