Ahly ease into the African Champions League round of 16 with a 3-0 home victory over Ethiopian Coffee on Sunday
Ahly made light of the absence of their fans to claim an easy 3-0 home victory over Ethiopian Coffee and qualify for the African Champions League round of 16 on Sunday.
The Red Devils, missing four key players due to injuries, had to play behind closed doors due to security concerns in the country.
The interior ministry initially refused to secure the match but eventually bowed to pressure from Ahly, who warned they could be banned from African competitions for up to three years if they did not play the match.
Ethiopian Coffee, who held Ahly to a goalless draw in the first leg in Addis Ababa, had to play with ten men for around 30 minutes after Sisay Demise-Gebre was dismissed for a last-man foul on Mohamed Shawky as the hosts were awarded a penalty.
Brazilian striker Fabio Junior gave Ahly the lead after 10 minutes and veteran playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika, who also had a hand in the opener, netted a second-half brace as the team joined arch-rivals Zamalek in the last-16 round.
Zamalek went through on the away goal rule earlier in the day despite losing 2-1 to Ivorian outfit Africa Sports.
Junior, consistently criticized for some below-par displays, opened the scoring after finishing off a flowing move involving Abou-Treika and diminutive left-back Ahmed Shedid, who deputized for the injured Sayed Moawad.
Abou-Treika’s through pass released Shedid on the left to whip in a cross for the unmarked Junior, who sent a deft header into the back of the net.
However, Ethiopian Coffee posed some threat on the break and were unlucky not to level the score on a couple of occasions.
But Ahly effectively ended the tie as a contest when Abou-Treika shot low into the bottom corner from the spot on the hour mark.
He completed the rout in the 77th minute with a fine finish after being fed by Junior in the area.