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CAF Champions League

Mosimane: Al Ahly know how to play Champions League matches after dumping out Raja Casablanca

12:38 PM IST 23/04/22
Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane during the CAF Champions League away.
The 57-year-old South African coach reveals what helped the Red Devils to qualify for the last four of the African competition

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has stated how their experience and confidence in the Caf Champions League helped them to advance to the semi-finals of the competition at the expense of Raja Casablanca on Friday night.

The Red Devils were able to qualify for the last four of the African competition after knocking out Raja 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. With the first leg ending 2-1 in favour of Al Ahly in Cairo, the Egyptian giants secured a 1-1 draw in Morocco.

However, it was Raja, who took the lead in the game at Mohammed V Stadium when the Democratic Republic of Congo forward Fabrice Ngoma scored in the fifth minute, but Mosimane’s Al Ahly levelled matters in the 44th minute through Mohamed Abdelmonem.

Al Ahly had a penalty awarded by Senegal referee Maguette N’Diaye in the 17th minute, but defender Ali Maaloul saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Anas Zniti.

“It was a difficult game. We came here with respect to Raja and we gave them respect. But we have the experience and the confidence to play these games,” the 57-year-old South African coach told the club’s official website after the game.

“We won the game in Cairo and we missed a penalty in Cairo and missed another penalty here. We know how to play the Champions League matches and we are progressively improving.”

Al Ahly’s first-team coach Sami Komsan has hailed Mosimane’s tactics of preparing the team psychologically well in advance before the return leg fixture.

“It was a big game. I’d like to thank the players for being up to the challenge. We managed to play well away from home and be mentally ready for the game. Thank God, we were able to qualify for the next round,” Komsan told the same portal.

“In the build-up to the game, Mosimane, Al Ahly’s head coach, made sure to prepare the team for all the possible scenarios that could happen in the game. One possible scenario was what happened today and that was about how to react if we concede an early goal.

“Hopefully, we will do our best in order to win the Caf Champions League title for the third consecutive time. I believe such accomplishment would be the first of its kind in Africa and Egypt.”

Al Ahly will now face Algerian outfit ES Setif, who eliminated Tunisia’s Esperance Sportive de Tunis 1-0 on aggregate.