June 19 (Reuters) – Holders Al Ahly of Egypt moved a step closer to another African Champions League final after a deserved 1-0 away victory over Tunisian side Esperance in the feisty first leg of their semi-final in Rades on Saturday.
A second-half goal from Mohamed Sherif gave Ahly a potentially crucial away win which they fully deserved after creating the lion’s share of the chances in search of extending their record number of finals appearances in the competition to 14.
The match kicked off an hour late after police fired teargas towards rowdy home supporters in the stands, which forced the players from the field during their warm-up.
South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs caused a major surprise in the second semi-final on Saturday when they claimed a 1-0 away victory at fancied Wydad Casablanca.
Serbian forward Samir Nurkovic scored the only goal of the game in the first half, before the Soweto side mounted a staunch rear-guard action in the second period as they repelled wave after wave of attacks from the Moroccans.
Nurkovic’s goal was initially ruled out for offside but the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) from the semi-final stage in the competition spared the blushes of the on-pitch officials when it revealed he was at least a metre onside.
The return legs will be played in Cairo and Johannesburg respectively on June 26, with the final to be staged in Casablanca on July 17. (Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Clare Fallon)
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