Al Ahly players celebrate
Thursday Sep 13, 2018. 14:31
Al Ahly will be eager to build on their good run of form when they lock horns with Horoya in a first-leg 2018 CAF Champions League quarterfinal clash at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry on Friday evening.
Kick-off is at 18h00 CAT.
The Egyptian giants are currently on a four-game winning streak in the CAFCL and will be favourites to progress into the final four for the fifth time in the past decade.
Al Ahly, who are record eight time champions of Africa's premier club cup competition, failed to win their opening two games of the group stages, but recovered well under head coach Patrice Carteron to top Group A ahead of Espérance de Tunis.
But despite their pedigree on the continent, the Red Devils will not take their opponents lightly with Horoya having already caused an upset or two this season.
"We respect all opponents, but all indications say that we will be facing a difficult and strong opponent, especially as they reached the quarters alongside Morocco’s Wydad, while South Africa’s Sundowns were eliminated from the same group,” Al Ahly Director of Football Mohamed Youssef is quoted as saying.
“All expectations were that Wydad and Sundowns would be the ones to qualify from their group, but Horoya succeeded in booking a place in the quarters and that proves that we will be facing a strong team.
“We are looking forward to achieving a positive result away in the first leg to make our mission easier in the return match. Ahly always play the matches to win," he concluded.
Horoya finished as Group C runners-up ahead of 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns and three points behind title holders Wydad Casablanca.
The Guinea club, though, now face arguably their toughest test and head coach Victor Zvunka is desperate for his side to kick-off their quest for a final four spot with a clean sheet on home soil.
“We are working on preparing our side well for this challenge,” Zvunka told Guinean media outlet Objective. “We will do our best to qualify to the semi-finals.
“The first leg match is the most important. It is vital that we don’t concede any goals when we face Al Ahly.”
The second-leg will take place in Egypt next Saturday, 22 September.
Tunisian referee Youssef Srairi will take charge of the clash in Conakry.