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With one foot already in the group stage, record champions Al Ahly look forward to complete the double over Equatorial Guinea’s Cano Sport this weekend, as the Egyptian giants host the second leg of 2019-20 Total CAF Champions League first round.

Substitutes Salah Mohsen and Walid Soliman scored after the break to hand Al Ahly an away 2-0 victory in Malabo a fortnight ago, giving Swiss coach Rene Weiler a victorious debut with the Red Devils. Weiler was revealed as Al Ahly coach earlier this month, and his start was nothing but emphatic.

After returning with a win from Central Africa, Weiler guided Al Ahly to his first trophy with the club, defeating arch rivals Zamalek 3-2 to claim the season curtain raiser Egypt Super Cup last Friday in Alexandria. Three days later, he had another successful start as Al Ahly started their Egyptian Premier League title defense campaign with an away 1-0 victory at Smouha, also in Alexandria.

Against Cano Sport, Weiler could rest some of his key players, having returned to Cairo with an away commanding win. With strikers Marawan Mohsen and Moroccan Walid Azaro injured, there might be a chance for first leg scorer Salah Mohsen, or the attacking role might once again lie on the shoulders of Nigerian import Junior Ajayi.

Having been linked with a probable move outside Ahly den in Gezira, Cairo this summer, Ajayi who joined the Red Devils in 2016 responded with a “Man of the Match” performance in the Super Cup match.

Surprisingly to many fans on the day, he was handed a starting role by Weiler against rivals Zamalek. But Ajayi scored in each half to lead Al Ahly to victory, raising his individual tally in the Cairo Derby to four goals, one behind the derby’s all time foreign top scorer Angolan Flavio Amado.

“It’s not important who plays or scores as long as the team is winning”, Ajayi said this week. “When I had the chance to play (against Zamalek) I gave my best and you saw what happened.

“I never said I’m leaving Ahly. I am happy here and I have a contract that lasts for three more years” concluded the 23 years old Nigerian, who won the bronze medal with the Olympic Eagles in Rio 2016.

A draw will be enough to see the Red Devils confirming their lucrative mini-league stage place, as they are targeting to extend their record eight titles once more this season. Cairo based Al Salam Stadium, one of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations venues will host the game on Saturday night. The aggregate loser will move to the second tier Total CAF Confederation Cup playoff round.

Source: cafonline

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