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Al-Ahly are on course to defend their African Champions League crown after they beat Cameroon’s Coton Sport in a penalty shootout to reach the final.

The Egyptian team celebrates
The Egyptian team celebrates

The Cairo club won the spot-kick contest 7-6 in the Red Sea resort El-Gouna after the second leg of their semifinal ended in a 1-1 draw.

A similar score in the first leg meant the two clubs ended 2-2 on aggregate.

Ahly will meet Orlando Pirates of South Africa in the two-legged final next month.

Abdullah Al Saied scored after three minutes to give the Egyptian club the perfect start, leaping above two defenders to head home a sweeping cross from Sayed Moawad in one of the first attacks of the game.

Ahly, who rested three internationals involved in Egypt’s 6-1 loss to Ghana in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying play-off, had several chances to extend the lead in the opening half-hour but Coton Sport got a well-deserved equaliser in the 65th minute.

A sweeping move down the left ended with a cross that allowed Alexis Yougouda to score his seventh goal of the campaign, sliding home the ball from close range.

In the shootout, Mohamed Aboutrika missed the first kick for Ahly but his team mates scored from the next seven. The decisive miss came from Jacques Haman.

The match was played behind closed doors because of a spectator ban for Ahly following recent crowd violence. Their coach Mohamed Youssef was also banished to the stands after being sent off during the first leg in Garoua two weeks ago.

Ahly have won seven previous Champions League titles, making them African football’s most successful club.

BBC Sports 

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