Hilal, Ahly in crunch Group B clash

Hilal, Ahly in crunch Group B clash
Al Ahly player Salah Mohsen celebrates after he scored the third goal against Horoya AC during the 2018 CAF Champions league game between Al Ahly and Horoya AC at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on 22 September 2018.

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Jan 31, 2020. 09:00

Al Hilal and Al Ahly will battle for a place in the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League when they meet at the Al Hilal Stadium in Omdurman on Saturday night, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

Hilal come into the match placed third on the Group B log on nine points (level with second-placed Etoile du Sahel but ranked behind the Tunisians on head-to-head), with their last outing in the continental competition a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum in Bulawayo last weekend – Mohamed Eldai netted a late winner.

Ahly, meanwhile, top the standings on 10 points thanks to their clutch 1-0 win over Etoile in Cairo this past Sunday, where Junior Ajayi netted the only goal of the game.

The other Group B clash will see Etoile host winless Platinum in Rades simultaneously, and it is widely expected that the Tunisians will win to secure one of the two quarterfinal berths up for grabs.

That leaves this clash between the Sudanese and Egyptian giants as almost a one-off knockout game in its own right.

The Blue Wave will have home advantage, but the Red Devils need only a draw to secure progression and continue their quest of winning a record-extending ninth African crown.

When the teams met earlier in the group stage, at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo in December 2019, Ahly claimed a 2-1 home win thanks to goals from Hussein El Shahat and Ramadan Sobhi.

Moroccan referee Radwan Jaid has been appointed for the match in Omdurman – something which has already upset Hilal, who have no fondness for the official after he famously awarded three penalties against them in a CAF Confederation Cup clash against Etoile last season.

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