Al Ahly look to seal Champions League final berth

Al Ahly look to seal Champions League final berth
Ahmed Fathy (L) in action against ES Sétif player Houssam Ghacha

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 23, 2018. 09:00

Al Ahly will look to seal a place in the final of the 2018 CAF Champions League when they face ES Setif at Stade du 8 Mei 1945 on Tuesday, 23 October, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.

The Egyptian giants come into the return game of the semifinal tie with a 2-0 lead, having outclassed their Algerian opponents in the first leg at Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo on October 2. Walid Soliman and Islam Mohareb scored the goals for the Red Devils.

The Black Eagles will hope that they can stage a comeback in the semifinal tie and advance into the final for the first time since winning the continental competition in 2014, while Ahly are looking for a second successive appearance in the final and a record-extending ninth African Champions League crown.

Setif president Hassan Hamar says he remains confident in his players’ ability to come back into contention during their home leg on Tuesday night.

"During my meeting with the players, I felt their determination to win. We are fully prepared for the game, and I am sure we will make it to the final," Hamar told Radio Algeria over the weekend.

Al Ahly coach Patrice Carteron, meanwhile, is taking nothing for granted: "Setif is a very strong side, and reaching this stage at the expense of title holders Wydad (of Morocco) is not a coincidence,” he told CAF’s official website.

“It's not going to be an easy match despite the fact that we are taking a two goals advantage. The result isn't soothing as some people may think.

"We are playing to win, we are always doing that. Whatever the circumstances and whoever the opponent, our target is always victory in every game.

“The return leg is a totally different story and I told my players to forget all about the first leg result. We have to reach the final from Setif, and we will do whatever it takes to achieve this target.”

South African referee Victor Gomes will take charge of the match in Setif. The aggregate winners will advance into the final (scheduled for two legs in early November) against either Primeiro de Agosto or Esperance de Tunis.

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