JSK 1-0 Al Ahly: Ziti Strike Downs Red Devils As Canaries Fly Closer To Semi Finals

JSK are close to booking their ticket for the Orange CAF Champions League Semi Finals after beating their Egyptian counterparts in a tense match.

Mohamed Khoutir Ziti’s powerful side foot volley gave Jeunesse Sportive de Kabylie a valuable home win against Egyptian champions Al Ahly in Tizi Ouzou today.

JSK began the match brightly, passing the ball with intent and looking to make an instant impact as they committed men forward in search of the opener. Al Ahly’s players had to dig in deep in their own half against the motivated Algerians for much of the early going.

The home side should have taken the advantage through Sid Ali Yahia Cherif in the 9th minute but the striker could only manage a weak shot that was easily saved by Sherif Ekramy. Al Ahly responded when Ahmed Fathy broke the offside trap but his attempt to round the keeper was unsuccessful.

In the 23rd minute, the fans at the 1st of November Stadium in Tizi Ouzou had reason to celebrate when an unmarked Mohamed Khoutir Ziti smashed home Saad Tedjar’s inviting cross off a set piece. No longer content to absorb pressure and counter, Al Ahly took control of the ball and began displaying their passing game that makes them so dangerous.

Despite their pressure, it was JSK that came closer to scoring with Mohamed Amine Aoudia once again highlighting Al Ahly’s vulnerability on aerial balls when he headed an Idrissa Coulibaly corner wide from close range. Tedjar’s mazy run on the ensuing play gave the visitors another scare before the referee whistled the end of the first period.

The second half began with Al Ahly again taking control of the midfield and pushing forward to equalize. It took until the 56th minute for them to create a real scoring chance but Aboutrika could not find the target with an acrobatic turn and volley. It proved to be “Smiling Assasin’s” final contribution as he was replaced by Ahmed Hassan in the 61st and unanimously applauded by the JSK faithful who chanted his name enthusiastically.

Minutes later, Coulibaly could have wrapped up the three points when Ekramy fumbled a free kick by the Canaries but the Malian defender pushed his effort wide with the goal mouth gaping. His miss could have proved costly when Al Ahly thought they had found their much sought after equalizer in the 86th minute thanks to a Mohamed Shawki volley that was eventually ruled offside by the linesman.

Unfortunately, the match was blighted by a fight that broke out on the touchline immediately following the disallowed goal between the Al Ahly players and individuals who appeared to be match stewards. JSK managed to hold onto their win after nine minutes of injury time were played.

This marks the first time that JSK have defeated the Red Devils in their history and it is the first loss for the Egyptian club on Algerian soil since 1988. With this result, JSK have nine points and are only one point away from the Semi Finals of the Orange CAF Champions League. Al Ahly are in second place with four points can still qualify for the final four by bettering Ismaily who are right behind them with three points.

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