Record CAF Champions League winners Al Ahly have one foot in the final after a convincing 2-0 victory over Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Goals in either side of the halftime break from Mohamed Magdi Afsha and Ali Maaloul at the Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca on Saturday ensured a comfortable victory for Ahly.
Afsha gave the Red Eagles an early lead in the fourth minute capitalising on a defensive lapse to sprint clear on goal and coolly find the bottom corner.
Wydad should have restored parity in the 37th minute after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) awarded them a penalty following a rush foul from goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shannawy.
Baide Aouk stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but Shannawy thwarted him before reacting quickly to also collect the rebound.
In the second half, Pitso Mosimane’s side enjoyed a tighter grip on the game and were nearly 2-0 up after 57 minutes but Wydad goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti saved from Hussein El-Shahat’s effort.
Five minutes later, defender Ali Maaloul doubled Ahly’s advantage, converting from the penalty spot after Junior Ajayi’s effort hit the arm of a Wydad defender.
Egyptian champions Ahly are in a more comfortable position going into the second leg of the encounter.
Ahly will host the second leg at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday, October 23, 2020.
Mosimane saw his unbeaten start at the Red Eagles extended to four games since taking over at the club in September.
On the other hand, the victory saw Wydad’s 26 game unbeaten home run in the competition shattered.
Wydad had last lost a home game in the champions league in 2016 and it was Al Ahly who had inflicted that defeat.