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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Al Ahly defeats RS Berkane to win seventh CAF Super Cup in Qatar


The African champions broke their own record as the CAF Super Cup’s most successful team by claiming the trophy for the seventh time.

Egyptian giants Al Ahly secured a record-extending seventh Super Cup after a 2-0 win over RS Berkane of Morocco at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Qatar on Friday.

Mohamed Sherif and Salah Mohsen scored two goals in the second half of the match to solidify the win at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.

At 57 minutes, Sherif made a quick turn inside the box before slicing an unstoppable left foot shot into the net.

The win means Egypt’s Al Ahly broke its own record as the team with the most CAF Super Cup titles.

“The Total CAF Champions League holders were dominant over their Total CAF Confederation Cup counterparts, dominating the match, especially in the second half and ensuring they hand coach Pitso Mosimane his second continental title since joining the Cairo giants in October last year,” CAF said.

“Mosimane won the Champions League title as well as finishing third at the Club World Cup with The Red Devils, adding on to the Egyptian Cup he clinched as his first piece of silverware in North Africa,” it added.

While Berkane had two good opportunities to get into the lead, the Moroccan team failed to hit the net.

“In the 18th minute of the match, skipper Mohamed Aziz saw his header off a short corner go wide. Ten minutes later, they had an even better chance off a counter attack. Mouhssine Iajour released Mohamed Farehane through on the right with the defender gliding away with only the keeper to beat,” CAF reported. 

“However, Ahly shot stopper Mohamed Elshenawy was quick off his line to narrow the angle and Ferehane’s attempt to clip the ball over him ended on the side netting,” it stated. 

The African champions managed to continue dominating, and with just eight minutes left, claimed victory when Mohsen side stepped the keeper before shooting the ball into the net.

The Egyptian Champions leading CAF

With this victory over the Moroccans, the nine-time CAF Champions League winners have raised their tally of continental trophies up to 22.

The match, played in Qatar for the third time, also marked the first time CAF had adopted a full bio-bubble in a match since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

The victory also saw Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane win a fourth continental title overall (two Champions League titles and two Super Cups) after Manuel Jose, Hossam Al-Badri, and Mohamed Youssef, leaving him just one short of the record of five won by Faouzi Benzarti of Tunisia.

Following the historic victory, Al Ahly president, Mahmoud Al Khatib hailed Mosimane as a “diamond.”

“No club has ever defeated Al Ahly by 5-0 in a Champions League, only Mosimane did,” Al Khatib said. 

The Red Devils have made it to the final nine times, only enduring two defeats, in 1994 and 2015 – when they qualified as African Cup Winners’ Cup and Confederation Cup winners, respectively.

The Egyptian giants have also become the Super Cup’s all-time highest scorers after taking their overall goal haul in the fixture to 14, in addition to keeping a clean sheet in the match for the first time since their goal-less draw with Étoile Sportive du Sahel in 2007.

Al Ahly have won the CAF Super Cup on six previous occasions, in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, and 2014.

In December of last year, CAF postponed the tournament to the first half of 2021 due to challenges in securing a suitable venue.

Prior to the postponement, CAF announced that the match would be played in the Egyptian capital Cairo after a decision was made eliminating Qatar from hosting the game.

However, RS Berkane protested the decision arguing that playing in Cairo would give their opponents an upper hand. The Moroccans demanded that the match either be played in Qatar as earlier agreed or at another neutral venue. 

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