2017 CAF CL - Zanaco 0-0 Al Ahly - As it happened

2017 CAF CL - Zanaco 0-0 Al Ahly - As it happened
Al-Ahly player Ahmed Fathy (L) in action against Zanaco player Augustine Mulenga (R) during the African Champions League

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jul 01, 2017. 16:46

Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of the 2017 CAF Champions League Group D clash between Zanaco and Al Ahly from the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, on Saturday 1 July 2017.

Commentary
All times CAT

90+3' - Full time - It ends 0-0, probably a fair reflection, though Al Ahly will feel they should have made more of the chances they created. The point may be enough for Zanaco to qualify for the last eight, depending on the result between Coton Sport and Wydad later today.

90+1' - There will be three  minutes of added time.

89' - Nsabata with another crucial interception to stop Ajayi having a clear sight of goal. Zanaco now counter and Mbewe isn't quite able to get the better of Maaloul.

87' - Nsabata collects from Gomaa's low cross. The Zanaco 'keeper has been one of the best players on display today.

83' - Looking destined for a goalless draw this game. A point may be enough for Zanaco to qualify for the quarterfinals, but it will depend on Coton Sport denying Wydad Casablanca a win in their match later today.

80' - Zanaco's first change sees Nyaende make way for Kitumbo Mpiana.

79' - Saleh Gomaa replaces Said in Al Ahly's second change of the match.

76' - Ajayi with a shooting chance, but Chilufya puts his body on the line to make a brave block!

74' - Nsabata almost caught out by an awkward bounce of the ball in his penalty area, but he does well in the end to palm it away for a corner.

71' - Less than 20 minutes left, can either side take control of this game in the final stages?

67' - Ajayi holds up the ball in the box and then tees up Soliman, whose low shot is well saved by the legs of Nsabata! Great stop from the 'keeper!

63' - Now it's Al Ahly who are struggling to find a rhythm in attack, with a pass hit too strongly for Zakaria to get onto it. Coach Hossam El Badry looks a frustrated man on the sidelines...

59' - Now it's Zanaco on attack, Nyaende picks up a loose ball on the edge of the box and shoots wide of Ekramy's left-hand post!

58' - Ajayi squares for Zakaria in the middle of the box, but the midfielder's first touch is poor, chance wasted for Ahly!

57' - Mbewe flagged offside as Zanaco attack again. The hosts look much more fluent and confident since the restart.

55' - Sakala picks out Musonda and the youngster tries a long range shot... high and wide, no trouble for Ekramy.

52' - Zanaco have enjoyed all of the running early in the second half, but they have a nervy moment in defence as Nsabata unconvincingly punches a free kick delivery from Fathi.

48' - First corner of the second half goes to Zanaco: Mulenga's cross is well cleared by Hegazy under pressure from Sakala.

46' - Underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+2' - Half time - Goalless at the break. Al Ahly have been the better team, no doubt about it, but they will probably be a little frustrated that they haven't capitalised on their dominance. Zanaco need to make big strides forward in the second stanza.

45' - Nyaende shoots through a crowd of players, but it's a comfortable save for Ekramy. Finally something for the home side to get excited about.

43' - Bwenbya with a wild long-range effort that is well off target. Sums up Zanaco's attacking efforts this half.

41' - Closing in on half time. Al Ahly would love to make something of their dominance and claim the lead before the break.

38' - Nsabata denies Fathi with a low save at his near post! The overlapping fullback looked like he was going to pull the ball back from the by-line but went for the shot instead.

36' - Great defence from Fathi to nullify Mulenga as Zanaco spring away on a rare attack. A few signs that the Zambians are just beginning to 'click' a little more...

35' - Musonda looks for a long ball to pick out Sakala in the box, but Ekramy gets there first.

32' - Good defensive work from Banda, with Ahly upping the pressure in attack in the last few minutes.

30' - Zanaco skipper Chilufya is booked for a late tackle on Fathi.

27' - Maaloul looks to whip in a cross from the left but only hits the side netting of the goal. Ahly have looked dangerous down the left side, it's a weakness Zanaco need to address.

23' - Midway through the first half, still 0-0. Remember that a win will secure progression into the quarterfinals for the home side.

20' - Soliman with his first sight of goal and he sends a shot just over the crossbar! It seems only a matter of when and not if Ahly will open the scoring...

19' - Al Ahly make an early change as Walid Soliman replaces Bekhit, who must have picked up some kind of injury.

18' - Al Ahly so close to opening the scoring, as Ajayi gets onto a long ball over the top and lobs Nsabata, but the ball hits the post and Said can't capitalise on the rebound!

16' - Past the quarter hour mark, still goalless in Lusaka between Zanaco and Al Ahly.

12' - Good stuff from Al Ahly, they've dominated the game with their intelligent passing and movement. Zanaco yet to really find a rhythm in possession.

9' - Bekhit with a low drive from outside the box and Nsabata makes a fine diving save!

7' - Al Ahly with their first chance of the game as Maaloul crosses from the left to find Zakaria, whose shot is rushed and sent over the crossbar.

3' - A good start from Zanaco, who are camped in the visitors' half early on.

1' - Kick-off - We are underway in Lusaka! Zanaco wear their traditional red and black, while Al Ahly are in a change strip of all blue.

14h55 - The players are out on the pitch, our referee today is Mauritanian official Ali Lemghaifry.

14h35 - It's just under half an hour to kick-off in Lusaka, here are the starting XIs:

Zanaco: Toaster Nsabata, Chongo Chirwa, Peter Banda, George Chilufya, Boyd Musonda, Ernest Mbewe, Taonga Bwenbya, Augustine Mulenga, Richard Kasonde, Felix Nyaende, Saith Sakala

Al Ahly: Sherif Ekramy, Ali Maaloul, Ahmed Hegazy, Saad Samir, Ahmed Fathi, Hossam Ashour, Amr Elsoulia, Abdallah Said, Moamen Zakaria, Ahmed Bekhit, Junior Ajayi



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