Al Ahly to face Kaizer Chiefs in African Champions League final

Al Ahly beats Esperance 3-0 to qualify for the final of the African Champions League.

Hussein El-Shahat celebrates with team-mates after scoring Al Ahly's third goal. - REUTERS

Defending champion Al Ahly cruised into the final of the African Champions League with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Esperance in Cairo on Saturday to set up a meeting with South Africa's Kaizer Chiefs in the July 17 decider.

The record nine-time winner took the semifinal tie 4-0 on aggregate after Ali Maaloul netted a penalty in the first half, with Esperance left-back Ilyes Chetti sent off for his role in the incident.

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Mohamed Sherif added a second and Hussein El Shahat a third to seal an emphatic victory for Ahly's South African coach Pitso Mosimane, who helped it to the trophy last year and also won with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.

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By contrast, Chiefs held on grimly for a 0-0 draw in Johannesburg to defeat Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca 1-0 on aggregate and earn a first-ever Champions League final appearance.

Their Nigeria international goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi made a number of excellent saves as Chiefs withstood a barrage of Wydad attacks with scrambling defence.

The visitor was also wasteful in front of goal as it bowed out at the semifinal stage for the second year running, having lifted the trophy in 2017. The Champions League final will be played in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.

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