Analysis: Al Ahly Narrowly Overcomes Wydad in Thrilling First Leg of Champions...

Analysis: Al Ahly Narrowly Overcomes Wydad in Thrilling First Leg of Champions League Final

Kahrabaa (right) celebrating Ahly’s second goal after scoring.

Al Ahly narrowly defeated Wydad Athletic 2-1 in the CAF Champions League first leg final, in a game filled with strategic football and contentious refereeing decisions. The match ended on a sour note when Ahly supporters hurled water bottles at the Wydad players, slightly marring the spirited contest.

CAIRO, Egypt –In an evening of sensational football, Egyptian giants Al Ahly edged Morocco’s Wydad Athletic 2-1 in the first leg of the CAF Champions League final. The match was a high-quality, engaging encounter, brimming with tactical nuance and raw emotion.

Al Ahly emerged stronger in the first half, controlling the game’s rhythm and seeking to exploit gaps in Wydad’s defense. However, it was Wydad that fashioned the best chance of the first half, a close encounter that ultimately missed the mark.

A lapse in concentration during the dying minutes of the first half saw Taw notch the decisive goal for Al Ahly. The goal could have been avoided with tighter marking.

The second half witnessed a resurgent Wydad, crafting three promising scoring opportunities, but regrettably, failing to convert any into goals.

A more clinical approach in the final third could have tilted the balance of the match in their favor. Despite their dominance, an inability to capitalize on chances proved costly after Kahrabaa scored the second goal of the game.

A challenging game was made even more difficult by the performance of Libyan referee Muataz Ibrahim, whose decisions became a talking point in the clash. A potential penalty call was ignored when Maaloul Ali of Al Ahly appeared to push a Wydad forward in his back as the forward was trying to score a header. Adding fuel to the fire, a contentious incident involving the same Maaloul and Wydad’s Moutaraji was overlooked – an event many believe should have resulted in a red card for the last-man challenge.

Critics are questioning why the Tunisian VAR referee Haitham Guirat didn’t intervene in either of these incidents.

Wydad was nevertheless able to give their chances of clinching the title a jolt of life after reducing the score in the last 10 minutes.

Despite the loss, the result leaves the door wide open for the return leg in Casablanca. If Wydad can score at least once without conceding, they can secure the Champions League title.

Al Ahly will take comfort from their first-leg victory but will be under no illusions about the task awaiting them in Casablanca. The second leg promises to be an equally enthralling encounter, with both teams having everything to play for.

The only notable incident occurred post-match, as Wydad players made their way to the locker rooms. A faction of Ahly supporters began pelting them with water bottles, casting a shadow on an otherwise competitive match.