Egyptian giants Al Ahly won their record ninth CAF Champions League title after defeating arch-rivals Zamalek 2-1 in the final at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday evening.
The final which was the first to be played between two clubs from the same country was dubbed the ‘final of the century’, as Ahly and Zamalek wrote another chapter in their 103-year-old rivalry.
Mohamed Magdi kafsha who had provided the assist for Ahly’s opening goal, scored the decisive goal in the 87th minute to win coach Pitso Mosimane his second Champions League crown.
Midfielder Amir Soleya capped Al Ahly’s brilliant start to the game, as he popped up to score the opening goal of the game inside five minutes from Kafsha’s corner kick.
Soleya had played in all of Ahly’s 10 Champions League games this season, and it was his first goal in the competition this season and also since 2018.
Ahly continued to have more of the ball as they went in search of a second, but its Zamalek who had more dangerous chances at goal as they looked to play on the counter.
Zamalek managed to find a leveller in the 31st minute and in emphatic style, skipper Shikabala beating Mohamed El Shanawy from an Achraf Bencharki’s assist just outside the box.
The 34-year-old forward dribbled past two defenders before powering his effort past El-Shenawy on full stretch.
Zamalek came closer again in the 47th minute with Mostafa Mohamed’s shot from the outside of the box but El-Shanawy was in the right place to save his side.
Two minutes later, The White Castle were at again as Ahmed Sayed Zizo got behind the Ahly defence but El-Shanawy reacted first to clear the danger.
Zamalek started the second half better, seeing more of the ball but still looking lethargic infront of goal.
The game saw fewer clear-cut chances in the second half, but both teams stepped up the pace and intensity of the game in search of perhaps the winner.
In the 53rd minute, Al Ahly nearly went ahead but Hussein El Shahat failed to find the target with Zamalek keeper Mohamed Abougabal beaten by a low cross.
The decisive moment came just three minutes from full time, Kafsha who provided the assist for Soleya’s goal pulling one from the top shelf, controlling the ball with his thigh before unleashing a belter into the top corner.
Ahly continued their unbeaten run over Zamalek in the Champions League, winning six of their 10 encounters in the competition.
Mosimane becomes just the third coach to win the Champions League with two different clubs. He won it with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.
It was the second time Mosimane has defeated Zamalek in a Champions league final after also prevailing over them with Mamelodi in 2016.