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African Football League: Al Ahly qualify without a win as Sundowns in control

African Football League: Al Ahly qualify without a win as Sundowns in control

The first qualifiers for the African Football League semi-finals are known. Egypt's Al Ahly and South Africa's Mamelodi Sundows have qualified for the semi-finals after two legs against Simba of Tanzania and Petro of Luanda respectively.


Al-Ahly qualify for semi-finals on away goal difference

Al-Ahly of Cairo have qualified for the semi-finals of the African Football League following their 1-1 home draw with Simba of Tanzania. The winners of the last CAF Champions League now have a surplus of away goals. The Egyptian club drew 2-2 with Simba SC on home soil. The return leg, held on Tuesday October 24, was approached with a cautious approach by both teams. The score at half-time was 0-0. Neither team made the most of their attacking options.

Al Ahly had the initiative but were not too dangerous.  At the 61st minute, Al Ahly had 72% possession compared to Simba's 28%. They had attempted 13 shots with just one on target, compared with 4 shots with 1 on target for the Tanzanians. The match came to a head in the 68th minute when Sadio Kounaté scored for the visitors. The second shot was the Tanzanians' last on target of the match. Al Ahly, with their backs against the wall, had no choice but to come back from a goal down if they were to qualify. They went on the attack and managed to equalize 8 minutes later through Kahraba. The match became tight again, with the defences bunched together. No more goals were scored.

Mamelodi manage their lead in the return leg

Many were betting that Mamelodi Sundows would qualify for the semi-finals of the African Football League following their 0-2 first-leg win over Petro de Luanda. This scenario proved to be true, but one match fact could have changed predictions. South Africa's Mothobi Mvala was red-carded in the second minute but this numerical advantage did not benefit the Angolans, either in terms of possession or on the scoreboard. At half-time, possession was already 49% for Mamelodi versus 51% for Petro Luanda. Mamelodi were more incisive in the game, with the support of the crowd. The team had 2 shots on target out of 4 attempted. The Angolans attempted 5 shots, none on target, to illustrate their difficulty in getting close to their opponents.

In the second half, Petro Luanda were more determined but no more dangerous than in the first. They attempted 5 shots with only one on target. The more experienced Mamelodi Sundows managed the lead they had gained in the first leg to logically qualify, trying to keep the ball moving as much as possible. In the 2nd half, they only attempted 2 shots, with only 1 on target.

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