Al Ahly Clinches Record 12th African Champions League Title

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Egyptian football powerhouse Al Ahly has secured their record-extending 12th African Champions League title with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Tunisia’s Esperance in the second leg of the final, held at Cairo International Stadium.

Following a goalless draw in the first leg in Tunis last Saturday, the home side wasted no time in asserting their dominance. An early corner from Hussein El Shahat found its way to Rami Rabia, whose header deflected off Esperance midfielder Roger Aholou and nestled into the bottom right-hand corner, giving Al Ahly a crucial lead.

Throughout the first half, Al Ahly sought to build on their advantage. Wessam Abou Ali came close, striking the side-netting, while Percy Tau narrowly missed the target with a fierce shot. El Shahat also tested Esperance’s defense but was denied by the impressive visiting goalkeeper, Amanallah Memmiche.

Esperance struggled to break through a resolute Al Ahly defense, which has been a hallmark of the Egyptian club’s campaign this season. Their best chance came just after the hour mark when Yan Sasse’s effort curled off target.

As the game entered its final stages, Al Ahly continued to press. Substitute Afsha nearly doubled the lead with a sublime free-kick that rattled the crossbar. Despite six minutes of added time, the Cairo club held firm to clinch a 1-0 win on aggregate, marking their fourth Champions League triumph in the last five years.

This victory was a testament to Al Ahly’s dominant form throughout the tournament. Under the guidance of head coach Marcel Koller, they remained unbeaten, replicating the remarkable run of their 2005 squad. Goalkeeper Mostafa Shobeir played a pivotal role, achieving nine consecutive clean sheets.

The triumph extends Al Ahly’s unbeaten streak in continental competitions to 22 matches and sees them win back-to-back Champions League titles for the fourth time in their illustrious history.

Both Al Ahly and Esperance had already secured their places in FIFA’s expanded 32-team Club World Cup, set to be held in the United States next year, alongside Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns.

For Al Ahly, this latest victory cements their status as the most successful club in African football, showcasing their unwavering consistency and resilience on the continental stage. The Cairo giants now turn their attention to maintaining their dominance both domestically and internationally, with the Club World Cup on the horizon as their next major challenge.

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