South African Percy Tau put up an amazing performance, with a brace of assists and goals as defending champions Al Ahly hit Algeria’s ES Setif 4-0 in Cairo on Saturday to put one foot into the final of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League.
In a one-sided first-leg affair, Ahly sliced open Setif’s defence far too easily, hitting the woodwork twice and having an early goal disallowed even before taking the lead via a header from South African forward Tau on the half-hour mark.
Setif had midfielder Amir Karaoui sent off for a reckless challenge on Hussein El-Shahat’s ankle as the visitors’ hopes of getting something from the game were dealt a blow.
Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema initially brandished a yellow card but changed it to a straight red after checking a video replay.
Ahly then put their opponents to the sword with a ruthless second-half display, with Tau setting up winger Taher Mohamed Taher for a second, substitute Mohamed Sherif for a third and completing the rout himself in stoppage time.
The former Brighton forward, who had a hand in all four goals after producing a man-of-the-match display, is staking his claim for a regular spot after some recent uninspiring performances had some fans questioning his signing.
Ahly are likely to seal passage to a third consecutive final when they face Setif away from home in the second leg next Saturday as they seek to become the first side to win a hat-trick of straight Champions League crowns.