Al Ahly - Orlando Pirates Preview: Buccaneers launch Operation Cairo
Orlando Pirates will renew their battle with Al Ahly on Sunday as the Caf Champions League final concludes in Cairo
By Daniel Eslick
Fadil, Gomaa, Naguib, Moawad
Soliman, Aboutreika, El Said
Lekgwathi, Gcaba, Mahamutsa, Matlaba
Klate, Myeni, Segolela
Orlando Pirates and Al Ahly face a date with destiny on Sunday, as the Caf Champions League final moves to Cairo.
The second leg of the continental showpiece's final is set to be played at the Arab Contractor Stadium in Cairo in front of expectant Al Ahly fans, who will be hoping to see their side lift its eighth Caf Champions League title.
Al Ahly struck a blow to Pirates dreams of a second star by scoring first in the first leg of the final, Mohamed Aboutreika’s sublime free-kick putting the Egyptian Giants in charge of the tie.
However, Thabo Matlaba's late heroics snatched a draw for the Buccaneers, keeping them in with a shout with the scores deadlocked on 1-1 going into the deciding tie in Egypt.
Al Ahly will start as favourites, their veteran stars leading the way, as the likes of Aboutreika, Wael Gomaa, Ahmed Fathy and Sherif Ekramy continue to shine for the powerful Egyptian outfit during the campaign.
The dominant force on the African continent will need to be wary of Orlando Pirates indefatigable spirit, which has seen them pull off major coups on away soil, their 1-1 draw with Esperance de Tunis in the semi-finals a direct indication of their form away from home.
The Buccaneers will be without vital players for the final, Happy Jele and Andile Jali suspended for the all-important match. This could see the return of club captain Lucky Lekgwathi in the defensive line-up, but Roger de Sa has yet to confirm Lekgwathi's inclusion into the starting XI.
The 2013 Caf Champions League tournament has been filled with intrigue and excitement, with the last 90 minutes of enthralling African football set to kickoff at 18:00 on Sunday evening.
Read about every moment of the final LIVE on Goal South Africa, with commentary to begin at 17:30 on Sunday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Defending champions Al Ahly will be seeking their first back-to-back titles after achieving the feat in 2005 and 2006.
- This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides in the campaign, three of the matches ending in draws and Pirates claiming the only win, an astonishing 3-0 triumph in El Gouna during the group stages.
- Al Ahly holds a menacing finals record, only having lost a Caf Champions League final on two occasions.
- Pirates have only won the continental showpiece once and Sunday's final will be the first time they have appeared in the title decider since winning the title in 1995.
- The winner of the final will pocket $1.5 million and will take part in the Club World Cup in December this year.
Top 3 Predictions
Al Ahly 2-1 Orlando Pirates
- 29.29 %
Al Ahly 2-0 Orlando Pirates
- 17.17 %
Al Ahly 3-1 Orlando Pirates
- 11.11 %
|Africa - CAF Champions League (CAFL)||10 Nov 2013||Al Ahly 2 - Orlando Pirates 0|
|Africa - CAF Champions League (CAFL)||02 Nov 2013||Orlando Pirates 1 - Al Ahly 1|
|Africa - CAF Champions League (CAFL)||22 Sep 2013||Orlando Pirates 0 - Al Ahly 0|
|Africa - CAF Champions League (CAFL)||04 Aug 2013||Al Ahly 0 - Orlando Pirates 3|
|01 Mar 2014||Young Africans 1 - Al Ahly 0||CAFL|
|20 Feb 2014||Al Ahly 3 - CS Sfaxien 2||CSC|
|11 Feb 2014||Al Ahly 0 - Al Ittihad Al Iskandary 0||EGY1|
|06 Feb 2014||Al Ahly 1 - Ghazl El Mehalla 0||EGY1|
|03 Feb 2014||Al Ahly 0 - El Daklyeh 1||EGY1|
|4||Sherif Abd Elfadil||Defender|
|22||Mohammed Abu Trika||Midfielder|
|-||Abdulla Ali Saeed||Defender|
|-||Ahmed Abdul Zaher||Striker|
|-||Dominique Da Silva||Striker|
|14||Lucky Letlhohonolo Lekgwathi||Defender|
|28||Rooi Petros Mahamutsa||Defender|
|23||Tlou Mashedi Segolela||Midfielder|
|-||Lennox Luyanda Bacela||Striker|
|27||Terence Mpho Makola||Midfielder|
Times In SAST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed