June 26 (Reuters) – Holders Al Ahly cruised into the final of the African Champions League with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Esperance in Cairo on Saturday to set up a meeting with South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs in the July 17 decider.
The record nine-time winners took the semi-final tie 4-0 on aggregate after Ali Maaloul netted a penalty in the first half, with Esperance left-back Ilyes Chetti sent-off for his role in the incident.
Mohamed Sherif added a second and Hussein El Shahat a third to seal an emphatic victory for Ahly’s South African coach Pitso Mosimane, who helped them to the trophy last year and also won with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.
By contrast, Chiefs held on grimly for a 0-0 draw in Johannesburg to defeat Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca 1-0 on aggregate and earn a first ever Champions League final appearance.
Their Nigeria international goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi made a number of excellent saves as Chiefs withstood a barrage of Wydad attacks with scrambling defence.
The visitors were also wasteful in front of goal as they bowed out at the semi-final stage for the second year running, having lifted the trophy in 2017.
The Champions League final will be played in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.
(Reporting by Nick Said Editing by Chris Reese)
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