Cairo on edge as Zamalek and Al-Ahly clash in CAF Champions League final

November 27 – Egyptian giants Zamalek and Al-Ahly will renew African football’s oldest rivalry in the final of the Champions League, staged as a single match for the first time in the modern era in their home city of Cairo.

Doula in Cameroon had been due to host the showpiece game at the start of the month, but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) shifted the final to Egypt, pushing the date back by three weeks.

In Cairo, arch rivals Zamalek and Al-Ahly will compete for the crown of African champions over 90 minutes. It will be the first time since 1966 that the final of the continent’s leading club competition has not been decided over two legs.

The two clubs have played each other 239 times, with Al Ahly having won on 102 occasions. The team of coach Pitso Mosimane head into the match as favorites. They won the domestic league on a canter and in the semi-finals of the continental competition they breezed past Wydad Casablanca 5-1 on aggregate.

Zamalek defeated Raja Casablanca 4-1 over two legs in the last four. They have won five Champions League titles. Their Cairo rivals hold the record with eight continental crowns. It is the first time ever that the two cross-town neighbors meet in the Champions League final. They did meet in the CAF Super Cup final of 1994.

Local media report that several key players on both teams will miss the match because of positive coronavirus tests.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1611604797labto1611604797ofdlr1611604797owedi1611604797sni@o1611604797fni1611604797