From Al Salam Stadium, Cairo.
Minows Medeama SC’s CAF Champions League debut against the defending champions Al Ahly got off to a wonderful start as the minnows enjoyed 65 good minutes in Cairo.
With 3 centre backs of Abdulai Nurudeen, Baba Musah and Kofi Asmah at the heart of the defence plus two extra lateral defenders in Mamadu Kamaradini on the right and Fatawu Hamidu Abdu on the left, Medeama looked solid and impervious in the first half.
Medeama’s solidity at the back kept them in the game due to Jean Ourega, Manuel Mantey and Emmanuel Cudjoe’s wonderful work in the middle. The trio shielded the defence fearlessly and supported the attack as Felix Kyei in the post also put up a great performance for the Mauve and Yellow.
Fewer spaces were given to El Shahat, Kahraba and the surprise starter Karim Fouad at the attacking department of Al Ahly.
Medeama had their chance to score when Joshua Agyeman was put through by his partner Jonathan Sowah but couldn’t beat El Shenawy with his effort.
Afaha Magdi and Percy Tau replaced Aliou Dieng and Fouad Karim respectively in the 61st minute. This is where the Mauve and Yellow began to panic.
A cross from Emem Ashour in the 66th minute was connected by Kahraba as he was given much space and Felix Kyei could not do anything about it. It was Al Ahly’s opening goal.
Medeama’s difficulties in dealing with corner kicks and set pieces nearly resulted in a second goal for the Red Devils as centre-back Mohammed Abdelmonem was left alone to head a corner which went just over the bar.
A calamitous pass from Kofi Asmah led to the second goal as Hussein El Shahat doubled Al Ahly’s lead in the 75th minute.
Substitute Salah Morsen rounded off the score by adding the third in the 88th minute as the unmarked forward headed Afsha Magdi’s cross to make it 3-0.
Medeama lacked confidence and self-belief in the second half as they were easily opened up at the back severally compared to the first half.
Jean Ourega’s substitution in the 55th minute did not yield a better result as Godknows Dzakpasu was not as solid as him.
Medeama has been bruised by the 11th time’s champions but they have themselves to be blamed as they couldn’t utilise their chances and forgot how to defend in the last 25 minutes.
Simba and Mamelodi Sundowns have shown the entire continent that you need 150% concentration and focus when playing Al Ahly in Cairo. Medeama’s 24-minute collapse is a huge concern for Evans Adotey and the entire team.
Medeama SC will welcome CR Belouizdad in Kumasi on Friday at the Baba Yara Stadium at 4 pm.