Al Ahly Holds Strong: Secures Semifinal Spot After Draw with Raja

For the fourth year in a row, Al Ahly, the Egyptian powerhouse, has earned a place in the African Champions League semifinals. Their spot was secured following a goalless draw against Raja of Morocco in Casablanca on Saturday.

Al Ahly’s recent dominance over their North African opponents was solidified by their 2-0 home victory in Cairo last week, which ultimately secured their qualification for the next round.

Raja faced elimination from the quarterfinals for the second time in a row by Al Ahly, who had previously defeated them in the 2022 African Super Cup.

Al Ahly, with 10 African Championship titles under their belt, will now move on to the semifinals where they will face Tunisia’s Esperance.

“The game was very difficult especially as the hosts prepared well for the match and also they had a big desire to win and reach the semis,” the 62-year-old Swiss coach said in the press conference after the match.

“We were not the better side in the first half, we lost the ball on different occasions and we were lucky that they wasted a penalty.”

“I asked the players during the break to be calm and cautious in their passes to decrease stress and so we were better in the second half and we tried to attack but we were not lucky to score,” the Ahly coach added.

“I congratulated my players for the qualification. We will forget about Raja game to prepare strongly for the Super Cup game against Zamalek,” Koller explained.

Since he took charge of Ahly, Koller said, the team has faced a difficult game every three days, whether in the domestic league or in the Champions League.

“The semifinal confrontation against Eseperance will be very difficult and we must prepare well as our main target is to reach the final. Sure our opponent has the same desire and I expect a balanced game between both teams,” the coach concluded.

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