The second leg of the African Football League semi-finals was played on Wednesday November 1, 2023. With many missed chances, including a penalty, Al Ahly were eliminated by Mamelodi Sundowns (0-0), who join Wydad in the final following their penalty shoot-out win over Esperance de Tunis (4-5).
Wydad AC in the African Football League final
Wydad AC had won the first leg at home (1-0) and had to defend their lead against Esperance de Tunis. The home side dominated the game from the outset. Oussama Bouguerra (10th), Yassine Meriah (20th) and Ghaith Ouahabi (27th) took turns to break the Moroccan club’s deadlock. But the breakthrough came when Brazilian Rodrigues Silva (66th) fired home Bouguerra’s perfect cross. Galvanized by the crowd, the Sang et Or even managed to score a second goal (88th) through the Brazilian, but he was disallowed for offside. Unable to settle the tie in normal time, the two sides went to the first penalty shoot-out in the history of the African Football League. It was Wydad who proved more adept at this exercise, with Rodrigues Silva’s miss and the decisive shot from Senegalese Bouly Junior Sambou sending Wydad through to the final.
Sundowns wipe out Al Ahly
Africa’s most successful club was aiming for its first African Football League final. Al Ahly had a one-goal lead to make up when they hosted Mamelodi Sundowns. In Cairo, the evening got off to a wonderful start with a penalty for the Egyptians following a poor clearance by Ronwen Williams which unbalanced Percy Tau in the box. But Ali Maaloul (12th) missed his shot and missed the chance to set the record straight. While the goal was still a long way off, Al Ahly created a number of situations with the complicity of the South African goalkeeper, who was showing great feverishness.
On one of his blunders, Mahmoud Kahraba hit the post. If it wasn’t the keeper, it was the Egyptians’ clumsiness. Percy Tau (30th), launched into the opposition box, saw his shot hit the crossbar. An evening when the soccer gods were on the Sundows’ side, even Junior Mendieta’s dismissal (84th) didn’t prevent them from keeping their goal intact. The Brazilians put in a fine performance to join Wydad in the final of the African Football League.