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CAF Champions League

Can Chiefs Break SA’s Curse Against Al Ahly?

Kaizer Chiefs will be out to break South Africa’s curse against Egyptian giants Al Ahly, who’ve never lost a CAF Champions League final against SA teams.

The ‘Club of the Century’ are the most successful team in CAF Champions League history, having won the competition nine times so far.

On two of those occasions, Al Ahly defeated a South African team in the final. Back in 2001 Al Ahly beat Mamelodi Sundowns, while in 2013 they defeated Orlando Pirates.

In 2001, Downs held Al Ahly to a 1-1 draw, with Gift Kampamba scoring Masandawana’s only goal at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in the first leg before losing the second leg at the Cairo International Stadium 3-0.

Twelve years later, Pirates also managed to collect a 1-1 first-leg draw after Thabo Matlaba scored a 93rd minute equaliser, but Pirates, too, lost the second leg in Cairo, where Al Ahly won 2-0.

However, unlike Pirates and Downs, Chiefs will only face the Egyptian giants once, with this year’s final played in a single leg at a neutral venue in Casablanca.

Overall, Al Ahly have played in 13 CAF Champions League finals so far, winning nine and losing just four.

They have also reached four finals over the last five years, losing the editions in 2017 and 2018, but lifting the trophy last year under Pitso Mosimane.

Chiefs and Al Ahly have only ever met once in CAF competitions, in the 2001 CAF Super Cup for which Amakhosi had qualified after winning the African Cup Winners’ Cup (the predecessor of the CAF Confederations Cup), while Al Ahly booked their ticked for lifting the CAFCL. However, Chiefs lost that game 4-1.