30 November 2014 07:15
Ivorian champions, Sewe Sport left it late to secure a 2-1 win over Egyptian giants, Al Ahly in the first leg of the 2014 Orange CAF Confederation Cup final on Saturday in Abidjan.
Fans favourite, Roger Assale scored the winner eight minutes from time to hand ‘Les Sewekes’ a first leg cushioning ahead of the return encounter seven days later in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.
Sewe Sport, seeking to become the first Ivorian club to lay their hands on a continental club championship since 1998, led by a lone goal at half time through Christian Koffi Kouame before Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ drew level for the Red Devils mid-way into the second half.
Parading a side depleted by injuries to several key players, the Cairo-based giants started second choice goalie, Ahmed Ali in post whilst veteran Emad Meteb led the attack.
Despite the hosts having the better of the exchanges in the opening minutes, it was the Egyptians who made a real test at breaking the deadlock. Following a one-two between Meteb and Walid Soliman, the latter was denied by Sewe Sport goalie Sylvain Gbohouo, who came off his line to save the situation.
On 22 minutes, Assale found himself in a good position to score but was fouled by Ahly goalkeeper Ali, leaving Gabonese referee Eric Arnaud Otogo with no option than to whistle for a penalty.
The resultant penalty was converted by Kouame for the opening goal of the first leg of the decisive clash.
Just before half time, Ahly survived a scare by the Ivorians thanks to defender Bassem Aly who weathered the situation with a timely clearance.
Ahly coach, Juan Carlos Garrido made two substitutions before the second half introducing Sherif Abdel Fadil and Ramadan Sobhy for Ahmed Khairy and Meteb respectively.
The new faces brought some life into the game of the visitors with Sobhy providing support for Trezeguet upfront. Their combination finally yielded the equalizer on 58 minutes as Sobhy squared Trezeguet, who shot past Gbohouo to restore parity.
Eight minutes from time, Assale scored the winner from a goalmouth action to hand ‘Les Sewekes’ a narrow lead into the second leg next weekend.
The winner will pocket $660,000 and will also face the winner of the Orange CAF Champions League in next year’s Orange CAF Super Cup.