Two second-half goals from substitute Nasser Maher and Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul earned Ahly a deserved 2-0 home win over 10-man Vita Club in their opening African Champions League Group D game on Saturday.
Vita Club, who survived a barrage of attacks in the first half as Ahly relentlessly pressed from the outset, had to play with ten men for more than 50 minutes after Dharles Kalonji, who was booked earlier, received his marching orders for a reckless foul.
The DR Congo outfit’s resistance ended when playmaker Nasser Maher opened the scoring five minutes past the hour mark, shortly after replacing lone striker Marwan Mohsen.
Mohsen was substituted after picking up an injury, mounting the problems of the injury-hit Ahly and leaving the team without a single out-and-out striker in their squad.
Maaloul converted a penalty 11 minutes from time to seal the win, Ahly’s first in a group-stage opener in four years.