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TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Quarter-Finals action got underway on Friday, 29 March when title holders, Al Ahly SC travelled to Dar es Salaam to face Tanzanian giants, Simba SC in the first leg of the Quarter-Finals.

Despite playing in front of a roaring 60 000 capacity crowd, the North African giants displayed their experience as they managed a hard-fought 1-0 win to take to Cairo next week where they will be hoping to wrap up the two-legged tie with a win in front of their fans.

An early goal by Ahmed Kouka was enough to secure the first leg victory for the Egyptian giants who did well to absorb the ongoing pressure from Simba throughout the encounter.

As expected, the hosts were the first to ask questions of their opponents as early as the first minute after an inviting ball into the danger area connected with the head of Sadio Kanoute whose effort went just over the bar.

However, it was the defending champions who drew first blood after a Mohamed Hany drove down the right flank to send a dangerous ball that almost went in as an own goal but rebounded off the keeper for Ahmed Kouka to fire home from close range.

Despite conceding early, Simba were not derailed by the concession as they continued searching for the equaliser.

Clatous Chama almost pulled one back in the 22nd minute after a clever flick was met by a quick reaction by Mostafa Shobeir who flicked it to safety.

Shobeir, who gave a stellar performance in the absence of Ahly’s number one, Mohamed El Shenawy was again called to action in the 38th minute when a stinging effort by Kanoute found the keeper on high alert as he made the save.

Coming back from the break, the hosts continued piling on the pressure but hardly did much to break the stubborn and highly experience Ahly back found who were resilient and thwarted all of Simba’s attacks.

The two giants face each other head on next weekend and besides this a loss for Simba, they will head to Cairo with their heads held high from a great performance that saw them pin their more fancied opponents in their half throughout the match.

TotalEnergies CAF Champions League action in Tanzania continues on Saturday, 30 March at the same venue as Young Africans take on Mamelodi Sundowns at 18h00 GMT.

Source: CAF

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