CAF Champions League Final: Espérance draw goalless in first leg at home to Al Ahly


The first leg of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Final ended in a 0-0 draw as Espérance Sportive de Tunis faced off against defending champions Al Ahly SC on Saturday evening.


Held in Rades, this initial match was crucial for Espérance, the four-time champions, who aimed to secure a home advantage before the challenging return leg in Cairo next Saturday.


Despite controlling much of the possession, Espérance struggled to create clear scoring opportunities. Al Ahly’s solid defensive setup proved difficult to break down. Early in the game, Rodrigues Silver nearly scored when his header, from a well-placed Houssem Tka cross, narrowly missed the goal.


Before halftime, Al Ahly’s Al Shahat almost scored with a long-range shot that went just wide, much to the relief of Espérance’s young goalkeeper, Amanallah Memmiche, who continued his fine form.


Both teams entered halftime with limited chances and were eager to find a breakthrough in the second half. Espérance once again pressed forward, with Roger Aholou coming close to scoring with a long-range curler that narrowly missed the bar.


Encouraged by their home fans, Espérance kept pushing, but Al Ahly’s resolute defense held firm. The introduction of Al Ahly’s key player, Afsha, reinvigorated their attack. Around the hour mark, Emam Abdelghany’s powerful long-range strike nearly caught Memmiche off guard, showcasing Al Ahly’s threat.


As the match drew to a close, Al Ahly focused on maintaining possession and frustrating Espérance. Experienced players like Percy Tau played a crucial role in preserving the draw, much to the disappointment of the home crowd.


With the score locked at 0-0, the second leg of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League final in Cairo promises to be a thrilling contest. Both teams will be vying intensely for Africa’s most prestigious club football trophy.

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