Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has urged his side not to lose force following their 1-0 Champions League first leg, semi-final victory over Esperance on Saturday.
After a barren first half, the lone effort of Mohamed Sherif in the 67th-minute ensured the Red Devils claimed a crucial away victory at the Stade Olympique de Rades in the semi-final encounter.
Despite the incredible triumph, the South African tactician refused to welcome overwhelming predictions of the side's passage to the final, while lauding the hard-fighting spirits of his players in Tunisia.
“Our players were able to deal well with the game. They gave everything they had and therefore we were able to achieve a positive result,” Mosimane told Al Ahly’s official website.
“However, I made sure to tell the players that we have still not qualified yet to the final.
“Al Ahly and Esperance have a long history of games which prove that winning the first leg doesn’t mean that you’ll qualify to the final.
“We still have a game to play in Cairo and that is what captain Mahmoud El Khatib, Al Ahly’s president, said to the players after the game.
“Moreover, we respect Esperance and their head coach, as they are a big team in Africa.”
The ex- Mamelodi Sundowns coach further avoided comenting on the pre-match incidence in Rades as his side to cut short their warm-up following the engagement between the fans and the local security agents.
"We are dealing with all circumstances. Against Al-Hilal last season, the atmosphere was more difficult because the fans of the Sudanese team stormed the field," he said as per Kingfut
"We don’t have any problem dealing with such situations.
"The difficulty was that the team ate their last meal three hours before the match, and after it was postponed for an hour, the team did not eat for four hours, and because of this, we lacked energy in the last minutes of the second half.
"We didn’t want to make excuses. We had to be very focused during the match, and I’m not saying that because we won."
With the first leg result, the Egyptian champions required just a draw against Moine Chaabani’s men in the second leg to stand a chance of claiming a tenth African title.