Al Ahly ended up as the CAF Champions League winner for a ninth time. I guess we are back to the predictable script. The Red Devils were, in the end, head and shoulders above every other club in the CAFCL.
I was especially surprised that the duo of Wydad Casablanca and Zamalek failed to get the better of Ahly. Not even the competition favorite at the end of group stage provided a real challenge to Al Ahly. You have to go back to the group stages to see Al Ahly suffering.
The Cairo side have been in exceptional form all season. If they win the Egyptian Cup, they will have secured another treble.
Not to take anything away from the Champions of Africa, but there is always room for improvement. There are some things Al Ahly got wrong during the 2019/2020 CAFCL seasons. You may think it does not matter now but it does. Ahly needs to work to get better to shine at the FIFA Club World Cup and stay on top in the CAF Champions League.
Right: Home Form
Al Ahly beat every team they played at home. The Red Devils scored 16 goals at home and conceded just twice. You can include the CAFCL Final win over Zamalek to that impressive Stat. No side really threatened to beat Al Ahly in Cairo. We can conclude that they will also win the CAF Super Cup 😂.
Wrong: Badji and Kahraba
The Red Devils made the headlines with two major signings. They bought, striker, Aliou Badji from Europe and we could not hear the end of it. Al Ahly also signed Kahraba, formerly a star at Zamalek, and we believed the moves made the CAFCL a formality.
In the end, Badji and Kahraba only ended up being peripheral figures to the CAF Champions League campaign. Junior Ajayi and Marwan Mohsen recaptured their form and kept the duo out of the starting XI.
Right: Knockout Stage
CAFCL Gazette was guilty of making a big deal of Al Ahly’s poor away form. They ended up passing the knockout stage test in flying colors – a draw against Sundowns in Pretoria and a comformable win over Wydad in Casablanca is as good as it gets.
Ahly was aided by their dominant approach to matches. They chose to attack their opponents and did their best to dominate ball possession. I always ask other giant clubs of CAFCL to play with the same arrogance but they are too scared to do it.
Wrong: Group Stage
Wow. I almost thought at one time that Al Ahly would be eliminated at the group stage. How embarrassing would that have been? Rene Weiler’s Ahly had lost to Etoile Sahel and drawn with both Al Hilal and Platinum FC going into the final matchday. Phew!
Right: Pitso Mosimane
Nobody saw the appointment of Pitso Mosimane as the Al Ahly coach coming. It was especially a big test considering the expectations that had been set by Rene Weiler. Pitso did the easy job of securing the Egyptian Premier League title.
We all wondered if he could clinch the CAF Champions League as well. He was trying to introduce his philosophy of passing football. He had to play Wydad Casablanca – a team that gave him a hard time while at Sundowns. And he damn did it (excuse my language)
Wrong: Ramadan Sobhi
It is a shame that we never really felt the full effect of Ramadan Sobhi in the CAFCL. Al Ahly did not manage the speculations surrounding his contract situation in the best way and we missed something for it. He is now at Pyramids FC, who have to wait another season to see if they can qualify to play with the big boys.