Al Ahly beat 10-man South African rivals Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in the CAF Champions League final in Casablanca on Saturday, increasing their record to ten titles.
After 53 minutes, Mohamed Sherif scored his sixth goal of the season to put the Cairo Red Devils in front at an empty Stade Mohammed V due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a dismal end to the showpiece African club championship, a magnificent strike from Mohamed ‘Afsha’ Magdy on 64 minutes left no doubt about the conclusion.
In the 74th minute, Amr el Sulaya put salt into Chiefs’ wounds by thumping a back-heel past Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
Late in the first half, Chiefs were struggling to contain Ahly when they were dealt a major blow when Happy Mashiane was sent off.
After first flashing a yellow card for stamping on full-back Ahmed Tawfik’s right leg, the Burundi referee assessed the foul on a monitor and revised his judgement.
Ahly made history by becoming the first club to win the championship three times in a row.
Pitso Mosimane, a South African native who grew up supporting Chiefs, became the first African coach to win the league three times.
In 2016, he won with Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, and last season, he won with Ahly in an all-Egyptian final against close rivals Zamalek.
Ahly will receive $2.5 million for winning the Champions League, with a minimum of $3.5 million guaranteed if they compete in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
The Egyptian team, which has won 22 African trophies, will meet CAF Confederation Cup winners Raja Casablanca of Morocco in a one-off encounter for the CAF Super Cup before heading to the Far East.
Chiefs’ lone CAF victory, the now-defunct African Cup Winners Cup, occurred 21 years ago, and it was a painfully disappointing maiden appearance in the final.
The Soweto side matched Ahly early on and had the lone attempt on target in the first half, a shot by Serbian attacker Samir Nurkovic that was well saved by Ahly goalkeeper and captain Mohamed el Shenawy.
The Chiefs started the second half with ten men in the hopes of grabbing victory via a breakaway goal or a penalty shootout.
But the resistance only lasted eight minutes as Sherif was able to chip over Akpeyi with a wonderful feed from Tawfik.