Al Ahly romp into CAF Champions League final
Walid Azaro scored a hat-trick as Egyptian giants Al Ahly stormed into the final of the African Champions League with a 6-2 victory over Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia on Sunday.
The win at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria sealed a 7-4 aggregate victory for the eight-time champions, who will face Morocco's Wydad Casablanca in the decider over two legs, to be played over the next two weekends.
The other goals for the home side came from Ali Maaloul, Rami Rabia and an own goal by Etoile's Hamdi Nagguez. The visitors managed consolations through Rami Bedoui and Ihab Msakni.
Ahly were ahead inside two minutes as Tunisian full-back Maaloul's free-kick was not dealt with by Etoile keeper Aymen Mathlouthi and the sizeable home support erupted in celebration.
It was 2-0 midway through the opening period as Moamen Zakaria's cross from the left wing was headed home by an unmarked Azaro.
The Moroccan international forward grabbed his second five minutes before the break and again it came from the left-hand side as this time former CS Sfaxien full-back Maaloul provided the cross and Azaro arrowed his header into the net.
His hat-trick was completed four minutes into the second half as he collected a pass from Zakaria and fired home.
At 4-0 down on the night, Etoile were reeling, but they gave themselves a lifeline when two minutes later, Bedoui headed the ball into the back of the net.
That encouraged the visitors to get forward more and they were punished before the hour mark as Walid Soliman tried to force the ball towards goal and it deflected wickedly off the back of Nagguez and into the net.
The humiliation was complete for the visitors five minutes later as Ahly scored a sixth thanks to a fantastic long-range shot from Rabia.
Ahly were able to see out the game comfortably after that, but Etoile did grab a second in injury-time when Msakni beat home goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy at his near post from range.