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Pitso Mosimane Begins Al Ahly Adventure With Narrow Win2 minutes read

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Pitso Mosimane celebrated his first match in charge of Egyptian giants Al Ahly with a 1-0 win over Al Mokawloon in an Egyptian Premier League match played on Sunday night.

The South African tactician made five changes from the side that edged Tanta in their previous league outing, with Mohamed Hany, Ibrahim El Hanafi, Ahmed Fathy, Magdi Kafsha and Aliou Badji all given starting berths.

The hosts were on the front foot in the early stages as veteran Ahmed Fathi nearly opened the scoring but his shot hit the side netting. Four minutes later, Mohamed Magdy also had a great chance but saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Mahmoud Aboul-Saoud.

The Red Devils suffered a major blow in the 27th minute when goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy was forced off the pitch due to an injury with Aly Lotfi replacing the 31-year-old Egyptian international.

Al Ahly’s pressure finally paid off in the 38th minute when they were awarded a penalty following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review for a foul by Farouck Kabore on Mahmoud Kahraba inside the box.

After a lengthy wait, Amr Al Soleya stepped up to convert the penalty and score the first goal in the Mosimane era. It was also the 31 year old’s seventh goal of the season. The hosts could have doubled their lead in the second half when Kahraba’s powerful strike from outside the box was saved by Aboul-Saoud.

Al Ahly comfortably closed out the game with a dominat performance that saw them win 64% of the possession, an 85% passing accuracy, fire 19 shots with five on target. It was their 26th win of the season despite having already clinched a record-extending 42nd Egyptian Premier League title.

The win sees Al Ahly move 18 points clear second placed Zamalek who also won 1-0 away at Al Masry last week.

The Red Devils are scheduled to face Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca in the Champions League semi-finals and Abou Qir Fertilizers in the Egyptian Cup quarter-finals later this month.

Their next match is against ENPPI SC in a domestic league match on Wednesday, October 07 and 56 year old Mosimane’s side has three games left in the competition.

Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa commended the appointment of Mosimane as Al Ahly coach.

Ramaphosa said the Kagiso-born tactician will be missed as a force in South African football, and he feels his appointment will strengthen relations between South Africa and Egypt.

“Pitso Mosimane will be missed as a force in South African football but his appointment by our continent’s flagship club strengthens the bonds of friendship between our two countries,” said Ramaphosa on the presidency website.

“It is also a recognition of the talent and capability that resides within our own continent. I wish Pitso and his team well as they fly our flag and the flag of continental football with a club in whose success all Africans take pride,” added Ramaphosa.

North Africa Sports

Cameroonian Referee, Sidi Alioum, To Officiate CAF Confed Cup Final

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has named Cameroon’s Sidi Alioum as referee for the Confederation Cup final.

The Confed Cup final match between RS Berkane of Morocco and Egyptian side, Pyramids, holds later tonight.

RS Berkane progressed to the final after overcoming Hassania Aghadir 2-1 in the semi-finals of the competition.

On the other hand, Pyramids beat Horoya 2-0, thanks to late goals from Ibrahim Hassan and Abdallah El-Said.

Ahead of the final, CAF have decided to assign Cameroonian referee Alioum the duty to take charge of the game.

Alioum will be joined by his countryman Elvis Noupoue, and Chadian, Issa Yaya, as his assistants, and Gabonese referee Castane Otogo as the fourth official.

The CAF Confederation Cup final between Pyramids and RS Berkane will be determined through a single game and is set to take place on Sunday, October 25th.

Kick-off takes place at 20:00 West African Standard Time.

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North Africa Sports

CAF To Postpone Champions League Semi-Final Clash Due to Coronavirus

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has reportedly agreed to postpone the second leg of the Champions League match between Zamalek of Egypt and Morocco’s Raja Casablanca. This came after nine players of Raja tested positive for the coronavirus forcing the club to officially request a postponement by CAF.

CAF sent a letter to the clubs playing in the African Champions League and Confederation Cup stating that the body’s inter-club organising committee has decided if a team registers less than five Covid-19 cases, their match cannot be postponed.

Meanwhile, the Moroccan health authorities have prevented the club from leaving the country following the spate of positive COVID-19 tests in the club. “The Moroccan authorities have withdrawn the special authorisation given to the club to travel outside the country,” an official revealed. Raja, who lost the first leg 1-0 at home last Sunday, were due to play the return match at the Cairo International Stadium this Saturday.

Four of the Raja team that started against Zamalek — defender Ilias Haddad, midfielders Omar Arjoune and Mouhcine Moutouali and forward Abdelilah Hafidi — are among those who tested positive.

Moroccan media also named midfielder Abderrahim Achchakir and forwards Anas Jabroun, Ayoub Nanah and Mohamed Zrida as the affected players. Celebrations after Raja this month became Moroccan champions for the first time in seven years have been blamed for the Covid-19 outbreak.

CAF’s agreement to the postponement is raising major controversy. Guinea’s Horoya were forced to play their CAF Confederations Cup semi-finals against egypt’s Pyramids FC in Morrocco despite travelling for the tie with a 16-man squad after 12 players in the squad tested positive for the virus.

The African football body also turned down a similar requests made by Hassania Agadir after seven of its players contracted the virus ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup semi final against Renaissance de Berkane (RB) which they eventually lost 2-1.

Meanwhile Zamalek president Mortada Mansour has rewarded the Zamalek squad with a $3,200 bonus each after a 1-0 away win over Raja Casablanca of Morocco in a CAF Champions League semi-final first leg.

“Each player will receive the same amount as a bonus if they win the return match,” promised Mansour.

He also added that a much bigger bonus will be offered if Zamalek go on to win the elite African club competition for the first time in 18 years.

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North Africa Sports

Egypt Fall To 52nd Position As Senegal Remain Top African Side In FIFA Ranking

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The Pharoah’s of Egypt dropped one position in this month’s FIFA global rankings, down to 52nd place after six months of suspension of international games due to coronavirus pandemic.

Despite losing one place in the FIFA’s monthly ranking, the Pharaohs kept their seventh place among African countries, behind Senegal (21), Tunisia (26), Algeria (30), Nigeria (32), Morocco (39), and Ghana (48).

Egypt played draws against Kenya and Comoros in their opening qualifying games for the next Africa Cup of Nations last year, will host Togo in the 3rd round of the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers on 14 November.

There were some changes in the October rankings for other African teams with Senegal dropping on place, Algeria jumping one position, Nigeria dropping three places, and Morocco jumping four places.

Egypt, who made it into the world’s top ten teams after they won consecutive African Cup of Nations trophies in 2006, 2008 and 2010, are also placed fourth among Arab countries, after Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Belgium lead an unchanged top four national teams including France, Brazil and England.

The best mover in the new ranking was Malta, jumping 6 places to the 180th place, while the biggest drop belonged Rmania’s, who fell ten spots to 44th place.

FIFA world rankings (September world ranking in parenthesis):

  1. Belgium (1)
  2. France (2)
  3. Brazil (3)
  4. England (4)
  5. Portugal (5)
  6. Spain (7)
  7. Uruguay (6)
  8. Argentina (9)
  9. Croatia (8)
  10. Colombia (10)

Top ten African teams:

  1. Senegal (20)
  2. Tunisia (26)
  3. Algeria (35)
  4. Nigeria (29)
  5. Morocco (43)
  6. Ghana (46)
  7. Egypt (51)
  8. Cameroon (53)
  9. Mali (57)
  10. Burkina Faso (57)

Top five Arab teams:

  1. Tunisia (26)
  2. Algeria (35)
  3. Morocco (43)
  4. Egypt (51)
  5. Qatar (55)

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