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The African Champions League 2001
Semifinal 2nd leg match report
Espérance Tunis - Al Ahly Cairo

All groups, all matches:
African Champions League 2001
schedule + results
knock-out rounds
Group A
Group B
Semifinals + Final
Nov 10 1945 GMT
Espérance Tunis (Tunisia) - Al Ahly Cairo* (Egypt)  1:1 
(1st leg 0:0) *=qualified for final

1st half
-('3) #20 Adailton solorun and spectacular sharp 16 m low shot into the first corner - 1:0
-('10) Esperance lock Al Ahly into their half attacking relentlessly using the width of the field and the . Al Ahly have only once suggested they might be dangerous on counter attacks but the Tunisian defence put them offside.
-('25) The match is a bit more balanced now. For Espérance the two Brazilans Adailton and Reinaldo are conspiscious through their creative efforts
halftime 1:0
A game with almost no clearcut chances but on a quite high level and entertaining anyway. 
2nd half
-('55) Lively first 10 minutes. Esperance still attacking but Al Ahly trying as well. Espérance with the more dangerous scenes. The match is fast.
-('70) The concentrated and attacking Tunisisan side achieves by this tactics that Al Ahly is busy in defence and still has not been able to put pressure on the Espérance defence. It have only been half chances but the hosts clearly have the edge in goal scenes.
-('72) a rare better opportunity for Al Ahly when after a free kick cross from the right a player is unmarked. But the angle is tight and the keeper is able to cover the goal well, he saves for a corner
-('77) a sudden Abdelhafiz lucky 30 meter volley shot surprises the Tunisian keeper who is some meters in front of his goal and delivers the shocker - 1:1
-('78) Esperance answer immediately but the Al Ahly keeper saves
-('80) the Egyptian record champions blow a brilliant counter opportunity when they are three against one defender. Instead of playing out the situation Cherno fires from 20 meters high across the goal
-('82) Espérance attack furiously and a spectacular 16 meter volley flies across the bar
-('85) attack after attack is rolling against the Egyptian goal while Espérance look quite open in defence now. Maher Kanzari is on the field now (Ali Zitouni is not playing)
-Esperance need to win, otherwise Al Ahly will qualify for the final on the away goal rule
-('87) the Egyptian keeper wipes a dangerous cross across the bar, the insuing corner sees more wild action inside the Al Ahly penalty area
-Esperance are fighting, they attack with all players and a lot are running back though to help during Al Ahly counter attempts
-('90) 4 minutes injury time are sgnalled
-('90+1) a spectacular Reinaldo free kick rocket is denied by a similar spectacular flying save by the Egyptian keeper - he deflects the ball for a corner
-('90+4) the Al Ahly keeper fists away a dangerous free kick cross and Al Ahly can run a counter attack to to run out the clock
final score 1:1
Al Ahly have qualified for the final. A great Espérance team have failed to win the cup the third time in a row. Maybe an irony that their number 1 keeper El Ouaer has been banned from the competition because of faking an injury in last years final and his replacement did not look too good when conceiding the equaliser.
Both teams played good football according to their possibilities. Espérance dominated the match pressuring Al Ahly into their half. This resultated in a match with no clearcut chances for the Egyptians who were under pressure to score after the early Tunisian lead. 
But credit to Al Ahly as well, who managed to keep the scoreline close, the opportunities for Espérance were a handful but contained to half chances quality. A good performance by the Al Ahly keeper El Hadary was a key element. This provided the scenario for what can be described as a 'lucky punch'. But speaking of luck one has to recall the spectacular double goalpost scene of the first match as well, so that the Al Ahly success did not came out of the blue totally.

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