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HomeCAF Champions LeagueTau Tears Taraji Apart As Ahly Put One Foot In CAFCL Final

Tau Tears Taraji Apart As Ahly Put One Foot In CAFCL Final

Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau netted a brace as Al Ahly eased 3-0 past Esperance in their first leg CAF Champions League semi-final at the Stade Olympique de Radès on Friday evening.

Taraji were already on the back foot before a ball was kicked as CAF punished them for the unsavoury scenes against JS Kabylie when crowd riots resulted in the game being halted for nearly an hour.

With the game behind closed doors, their first-choice goalkeeper and their usual front-three all ruled out due to injury, Ahly took full control and the home side rarely threatened bar one long-range effort from their inspirational midfielder Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane.

And Tau proved to be the man of the moment, as he netted a goal in each half, the first coming from a swift counter-attack after eight minutes as he hit the ball on the slick surface beyond stand-in goalkeeper Mohamed Sedki Debchi.

Percy Tau of Al Ahly celebrates scoring a second goal during the CAF Champions League 2022/23 Semifinal 1st Leg match between Esperance and Al Ahly held at the Rades Olympic Stadium in Rades, Tunisia on 12 May 2023 ©Mehrez Toujani/BackpagePix

However, the second, just before the hour mark was a joy to behold as he cut in from the right before putting experienced Algeria defender Mohamed Tougai on ice with a couple of fake shots, before firing a powerful effort into the far corner.

Ahly weren’t finished yet – as Kahraba netted the third from another blistering transition, being set up by Hussein El Shahat for a tap-in at the far post with 15 minutes to go.

With three away goals to take into the second leg in Cairo next week, it’s a case of who the record ten-time champions will face in the final, Wydad Athletic Club or Mamelodi Sundowns – who face off at the Stade Mohamed V tomorrow.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.