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Cairo
10/11/2013 18:00

No second star for Pirates

Posted: 10 November 2013 Time: 16:49

Orlando Pirates were denied a second star as they lost 2-0 to Al Ahly in the decisive leg of the CAF Champions League Final in Cairo on Sunday night.

The defending champions won the event for a record-extending eighth time thanks to second-half strikes from Egyptian legend Mohamed Aboutreika and Ahmed Abdel-Zaher at the Arab Contractors Stadium.

Ahly, 3-1 victors on aggregate, ended the game with ten men as Sherif Abdel-Fadil received his second caution for body-checking Daine Klate in an aerial challenge in the 83rd minute.

The teams traded blows in midfield in the opening exchanges, with Pirates winger Klate sending a tame free-kick straight at goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy following a foul on Sifiso Myeni.

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At the other end, Ahly's Mohamed Naguib flashed a header wide of the target in the 15th minute. 

Bucs, continental champions in 1995, nearly broke the deadlock in the 20th minute, but Ekramy was quick off his line to foil Tlou Segolela in a one-on-one situation.

Pirates keeper Senzo Meyiwa was called into action two minutes later, as he parried away Abdel-Zaher's long-range effort.

Sea Robbers fullback Thabo Matlaba, who netted a last-gasp equaliser in the first leg, threatened just past the half-hour mark, but his powerful drive was well gathered by Ekramy.

Segolela wasted a great chance to score in the 35th minute, as he headed wide at the back post off a telling right-wing cross from Klate.

The hosts nearly struck a minute before the interval, but Meyiwa came to his side's rescue with a brave save to thwart Abdel-Zaher.

Ahly drew first blood nine minutes after the break, as an unmarked Aboutreika calmly stabbed the ball home from close range.

Bucs came agonisingly close to equalising but Lennox Bacela failed to hit an open net, albeit from a tight angle, after rounding the keeper.

However, the contest was effectively killed off when Abdel-Zaher placed the ball past Meyiwa inside the box in the 78th minute, with the visitors unable to find a way back.

It was an especially remarkable triumph for Al Ahly given the lengthy suspension of their domestic football due to ongoing political unrest in the north African country.

Al Ahly: Sherif Ekramy, Sherif Abdel-Fadil, Wael Gomaa, Mohamed Naguib, Sayed Moawad, Ahmed Fathi, Hosssam Ashour, Abdallah El-Said, Walid Soliman (Kenawi 73'), Mohamed Aboutreika, Ahmed Abdel-Zaher (Rabia 84').

Orlando Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Lucky Lekgwathi, Thabo Matlaba, Rooi Mahamutsa, Ayanda Gcaba, Lehlogonolo Masalesa, Oupa Manyisa, Sifiso Myeni, Tlou Segolela (Mbesuma 75'), Daine Klate (Makola 86'), Lennox Bacela.

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