CAF Champions League: Al Ahly seek redemption in semifinals against TP Mazembe

CAF Champions League: Al Ahly seek redemption in semifinals against TP Mazembe

Festus Chuma 10:56 - 20.04.2024

Ahly aims for redemption against TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League semifinals after recent setbacks in the Egyptian League.

Al Ahly are set to clash with TP Mazembe in the first leg of the CAF Champions League semifinals this Saturday in Lubumbashi. 

The Egyptian giants aim to deliver a strong performance to rejuvenate their supporters after a string of disappointing domestic results.

 Ahly, the reigning champions, reached this stage of the tournament after dispatching Simba SC with a convincing 3-0 victory in the quarterfinals. 

However, their domestic campaign has been marred by injuries, affecting key players and leading to mixed results in the league, including a painful 2-1 loss to arch-rivals Zamalek.

The absence of several pivotal players such as goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy and midfielders Aliou Dieng and Hussein El-Shahat due to injuries adds to the challenge facing coach Marcel Koller. 

Despite these setbacks, Koller remains optimistic, especially with the return of Percy Tau from injury. 

"He trained with the team for three days, and we are working on preparing him," Koller noted during the pre-game press conference.

TP Mazembe, meanwhile, enters the semifinals on a high note, having defeated Angola's Petro Atletico 2-1 on aggregate in the quarterfinals and previously trouncing Egyptian side Pyramids FC 3-0 at the same venue. 

 "I watched the TP Mazembe vs. Pyramids FC game, and while the latter missed several scoring chances, the hosts capitalized on theirs and achieved victory," said Al Ahly coach Kohler.

"We are well aware of the difficult atmosphere, but our target is to achieve a positive result that will benefit us in the second leg."

TP Mazembe having last made it to the semifinals during the 2018-19 season are determined to reclaim their past glory. 

The Ravens, who last lifted the trophy in 2015, registered a memorable 1-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns during the group stages.

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