CAF Champions League Final: Ahly's Name On Trophy

Egypt's Al Ahly have only to do the bare-minimum in the return leg of the CAF Champions League final against Coton Sport to win a record sixth title.

Ahly will be defending a two-goal lead from the first clash in Cairo a forthnight ago.

However, it will be the wealth of experience running through the Egyptian champions that will really be the difference between them and their opponents, who are playing in only their first Champions League final.

The Red Devils parade experienced campaigners in skipper Shady Mohamed and Wael Gomaa in defence, Ahmed Hassan, Mohamed Aboutrika and Mohamed Barakat in the middle, along with the Angolan striker Flavio Amado.

The Cameroonians, on the other hand, showed they are a bit wet behind the ears when they let in two early goals from set pieces at the Cairo International Stadium.

However, they can draw some inspiration from their second-half fight back. Add that to their impressive form at 35,000-capacity Stade Omnisports Roumde Adjia, where they dumped Zimbabwe's Dynamos 4-0 and Enyimba of Nigeria 3-0, and it is a given they will be fired up to meet this game with their best efforts even without the suspended skipper Ahmadou Ngomna.

"Ahly are a great team, who have already won the Champions League several times, but now it's the time for Coton Sport to do likewise. It's the time for us to also win our first Champions League," said highly-rated attacking midfielder Ousmaila Baba.

If the Egyptians thought this contest has already been won and lost, they were given a few reminders that there is still a game yet to be played when assistant coach Hossam Al-Badri was turned back from a Cameroonian league game involving Coton Sport recently.

The club from northern Cameroon have also made it clear to Ahly to arrange for their hotel and transport in Cameroon.

"We all know that a tough mission awaits us. The atmosphere will be tense and our stay will hardly be comfortable. Nonetheless, we are determined to win the title again," said Al-Badri.

"They are a very ambitious side playing at home, but our players are experienced and they are capable of coping even under the most difficult conditions."

The last time a club overturned a two-goal deficit in the final of this competition was in 1986 when Africa Sports of Ivory Coast cancelled out the 2-0 loss they suffered against Zamalek in the return leg only to lose 4-2 on penalties to the Egyptian giants.

Can Coton Sport defy the record books on Sunday?

Samm Audu