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 The African Champions League 2000 
  GROUP B match report 
 Hearts Of Oak - Al Ahly
All groups, all matches: 
African Champions League 2000 
schedule + results
knock-out rounds
Group A
Group B
Sunday July 23, 1500 GMT 
Hearts Of Oak (Ghana) - Al Ahly (Egypt)  2:1  

Before the match 
A most important match for Hearts Of Oak. Although with a lot of young talents in the sqaud, during the last years they have built a strong team which dominates Ghana soccer at the moment. It is their third attempt to win the crown of African football and they will have gained experience here.  
Last year both teams were in the same group, too, and both won their home match. Hearts Of Oak eventually failed to win the group because of losing the away games. Al Ahly finished secobnd because of losing at home against eventual winners Raja Casablanca in an unlucky one. 
From the psychological point of view there is some particular advantage for Al Ahly: Losing this match will not decide the outcome of the group - it will probably be decided in the away matches at Lobi Stars and Jeanne d'Arc. Winning this match would give an enormous advantage to the Egyptian side for the rest of the matches.  

Hearts: #16 Eben Dida Armah, #6 Mireku Amamkwah, #5 Jacob Nettey (c), #2 Justice Ampah, #17 Stephen Tetteh, #14 Joe Ansah, #7 Kenneth Sarpong, #12 Charles, Allotey, #18 Emmanuel Donkoh, #3 James Zongo, #10 Emmanuel Adjogu 
Al Ahly: #1 Essam El Hadary, #12 Hussein Shokri, #4 Ibrahim Sayed, #7 Hady Kashaba, #2 Hossam Ganly, #8 Heham Hanafi, #3 Saeed Abdel Aziz, #6 Said Abdel Hafiz, #10 Walid Salah (c), #13 Mohamed Gouda, #17 Alaa Ibrahim 

1st half 
-Al Ahly in red shirts, white shorts, red stockings. Hearts Of Oak in a left half blue, right half white shirt with one red and one yellow arm, blue/lilac shorts and blue stockings. Hearts Of Oak begins attacking right away 
-('2) Al Ahly captain Walid falls inside the penalty area - referee says playacting and gives him the yellow card. 
-('6) free kick from the left side for Al Ahly. Istead of the expected cross comes a low pass into the back field and a dangerous shot from 22 meters by an unmarked player which goes wide.  
-(''8) After a through ball into attack the Egyptian keeper has to react for the first time against an eventually harmless shot from half right 
-('12) Hearts Of Oak make an early substitution: #9 in for #12 
-('14) A diagonal distance shot means no problem for the Egyptian keeper 
-('16) Hearts Of Oak: biggest scene yet: a sequence of headers after a corner throws the Egyptian defence into confusion. The final header towards the goal misses narrowly wide right with the goalkeeper beaten. 
-('18) Hearts Of Oak: free kick from most dangerous position, 17 meters, central, but the shot sails wide 
-('19) Hearts Of Oak: counter attack with a player running alone towards the keeper who can keep his attempt away from the goal 
-('25) The Egyptian keeper makes a mistake in preventing the ball from going out, loses the ball and Hearts Of Oak have another opportunity but the chip sails across the bar 
-('26)('27) more half chances for Hearts Of Oak 
After Al Ahly looked sharp in the beginning Hearts Of oak dominate the match, playing a very good match yet. Al Ahly make the mistake of half hearted pressure attempts against the Ghanaian build up what leaves their opponents space to comnbinate. 
--('31) Al Ahly: the art of defending and shocking the opponent by a set play situation: a free kick from the right hand side and a header by Allaa Ibrahim? from 9 meters beats the keeper - 0:1 
-('35) The goal has boosted the Egyptian confidence but a counter attack against  a poorly positioned defence fails because of an inaccurate cross 
-('36) Hearts Of oak: dangerous situation after a corner again 
-('37) Hearts Of oak using wing play a lot, especially the right hand side, and create another good looking opportunity 
Hearts Of Oak has overcome the the shock and attacks again but somites look odd against counter attacks: 
-('40) three Egyptians waste an opportunity against two defenders 
-('41) another good attack by Hearts Of Oak, taking apart the defence by using first the right then the left wing, the eventual header goes narrowly wide 
-('42) one out of a number of about five offsides stops a promising Hearts Of oak attack 
-('45) a second substition for Hearts Of oak (#13 Ali Kwame for #3 for James Zogho) 

Halftime 0:1  
Hearts Of Oak dominated the first half with well constructed attacks but without scoring. Their defence looked vulnurable against the few Egyptian attacks. Al Ahly did not impress and still did enough to lead.  

2nd half 
-('46) Al Ahly seem to have substituted a player 
Despite superiority in midfield Hearts Of Oak has problems in continuing with constructing promising attacks. So no goal scenes take place in the first minutes of the half 
-('54) Another set play brings another turn of events: A free kick from the right wing and the player, instead of a smooth cross unleashes a sharp diagonal shot into the crowd in front of the goal: An Egyptian defender deflects the ball into the corner of the net - 1:1 
-('60) Al Ahly: Isaac Awal comes in for Mohamed Gouda 
-('61) Hearts Of Oak, more good opportunities against an at the momentconfused Egyptian defence 
-('62) the Egyptian keeper deflect a free kick across the bar 
-('68) Hearts Of oak: dangerous counter attack and a good save by the Egyptian keeper against a short range header, a second shot ails wide 
Al Ahly seem too far drawn back with a sole striker left alone at counter attacks. Instead of trying to profit from some weaknesses of the Hearts defence they dimantled in the first half, the Egyptians seem to be relying on their ability to defend the scoreline. They have already payed once for this attitude.  
-('75) Hearts Of Oak penetrate into the danger zone a couple of times but the Egyptian defenders have the last word inside their penalty area in the recent situations 
-('78) The Ghanaian keeper juggles the ball and scares his defenders after an Egyptian corner. 
-('79) Hearts Of Oak bring in #4 for #7 
-('84) Hearts Of Oak: most dangerous header opportunity after a cross from the right hand side, but the ball goes wide left 
-('87) Al Ahly: a sudden two agianst two counter opportunity but the eventual shot goes narrowly wide left - this should have been a goal 
-('88) Al Ahly: #15 Ali Mahir for #7(#17?) 
-('injury time) The bill for Al Ahly passivity: The lucky late decider for Hearts Of Oak: A shot from half right 10 meters distance by #18 Donkoh after a defended ball had been played back into the penalty area by aunmarked player luring about 20 meters in front of the goal - 2:1 

Final result 2:1 
A really good match in first half - the second with a little less quality. Al Ahly did not try to win the match - and so lost it. Thus they have wasted a big opportunity to predecide the course of the race in a group which now remains open. Possible away wins appear to become the decider in this group. 

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