Amr Obaid (Cairo)
Al-Ahly of Egypt and Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa qualified for the final match of the African Champions League, which brings them together for the first time in the history of that tournament, bringing back memories of goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary’s goal, which he scored during their only confrontation 19 years ago.
Al-Ahly succeeded in reaching the 14th continental final in its history in the Champions League, and its second in a row after eliminating Tunisian Esperance in the semi-finals, while Kaizer Chiefs appeared in the Champions League final for the first time in its history after overcoming Moroccan Wydad.
The final match will bring together the Century Club with the Kings in their second African confrontation, after they had previously met in the 2002 Super Cup final, and the Red Genie won 4-1 to win the title of that tournament for the first time at the time, and on that day the Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary scored , an imaginary goal after he shot a free kick near Al-Ahly’s penalty area, and the “legendary” fired his missile across the entire pitch, to bounce the ball off the post and hit the body of goalkeeper Brian Baloyi before hitting the net.
El-Hadary joined with his historic goal the list of Arab goalkeepers who scored rare goals, before repeating the matter again, in addition to scoring several penalty kicks throughout his brilliant career.
Al-Ahly faced the South African teams in the final matches of the Champions League twice, and won the title each time, starting with winning the 2001 Championship at the expense of Sun Downs, then the 2013 version against Orlando Pirates.
The “Awlad Al Salam” confrontation will be the third, after playing 5 previous matches against the Egyptian teams, including the only final confrontation in the 2002 Super Cup against Al-Ahly, and he won only once during those matches and drew twice, compared to losing in two matches, where he scored 4 goals and shook His net 7 times.
The South African champion began his confrontations with the Egyptian teams with his only victory against Zamalek, in the first leg of the second round of the Champions League in 1993 before being eliminated by losing 0-1 in the second leg, then he overcame the Ismaili in the Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals in 2001, with a 0-0 draw in his stadium before It tied positively with a goal for the same in the “dervishes” home.