CAF Champions League: Al Ahly derails Medeama’s campaign

By Yussif Ibrahim

Kumasi, Feb. 23, GNA – Medeama’s ambition of progressing to the knockout stage of the CAF Champions has been dealt a hefty blow after losing to 11-time Champions, Nady Al Ahly at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi. 

The Tarkwa-based club succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against an experienced side who were tactically superior, leaving their campaign in shreds. 

As it stands, it would take a miracle for Medeama to go beyond the group stage especially when they have a trip to Algeria to take on RC Belouizdad in the last round of matches.

Playing host to the most decorated team in the competition, Medeama made their attacking intent known right from the blast of the whistle when Derrick Fordjour picked a loose ball in his own half and raced into the box of Al Ahly but he was blocked from causing an early upset. 

The visitors briefly took control of the game, distributing beautiful passes to the admiration of the home fans after surviving a sustained pressure in the opening minutes.

Determined to break the deadlock after 10 minutes, Medeama launched a swift attack which saw goalkeeper Oufa Shobeir pulling a brilliant save to deny  Nana Kofi Babil the opener. 

Shobeir was on hand again ten minutes later to prevent a goal-bound free kick executed by Fatawu Hamidu from entering the net.

Medeama continued to probe for the first goal with series of incursions into the half of the Egyptians who stood firm to repel all the threats. 

Their efforts almost yielded dividend on the 35th minute when Daniel Lomotey’s header missed target by inches. 

The brightest opportunity after 41 minutes came the way of Bernadino Tetteh who skilfully outwitted his marker, dashed into the box with only the goalkeeper to beat only to shoot wide.

The two teams went into the break with the virginity of the game intact after Gabonese referee Tanguy Mebiame brought proceedings to an end.

The visitors resumed the second half on the front foot, captalising on a defensive blunder to break the deadlock three minutes after restart. 

Anthony Modeste dispossessed a Medeama defender before setting up Houssein El Sahat whose strike was punched into the net by goalkeeper Felix Kyei 

Coach Evans Adotey introduced Fordjour Azaria and Diawisie Talor for Jean Vital and Daniel Lomotey in his quest to strengthen his attack. 

Their introduction injected some urgency into the play of the “Yellow and Mauves” but the unyielding backline of Ahly kept them at bay despite the incessant pressure. 

As the match approached the hour mark, both coaches introduced fresh limbs determined to vary their tactics for the last 30 minutes which was crucial to their respective game plans.

Kyei denied Ahly a chance to double their lead with a point blank save on the 40th minute when Emr El Solia launched a ferocious strike in the box. 

With ten minutes to the end of the match, Ahly demonstrated why they have 11 titles under their belts with a display of total dominance over the home team whose effort was just not good enough.

They deservedly secured all three points to remain at the summit of Group D with nine points and a home game against Young Africans on March 2.