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Sports News
Ahly retain African title 2/19/2007
Mohamed Aboutrika scored a stunning volley two minutes into stoppage time to help Ahly of Egypt retain the Champions League title.

Aboutrika''''s strike helped Ahly beat hosts CS Sfaxien of Tunisia 1-0 at the Rades Stadium in Tunis on Saturday.

The Egyptian side''''s victory in the second-leg gave them a 2-1 win on aggregate.

Aboutrika''''s goal, shot from the edge of the penalty area as he ran on to a flick-on from Angola international Flavio, snatched the title away from their Tunisian hosts who had been on course to win the trophy for the first time.

A goalless draw would have been enough to give Sfaxien the title on the away goals rule but Aboutrika broke the deadlock to silence a 52,000-strong crowd and took Ahly to a record-equalling fifth time.

The only other side to have won it are their arch-rivals Zamalek.

As well as winning the US$1 million in prize money, they will also represent African at next month''''s Club World Cup in Japan.

They became only the third club in more than 40 years to successfully defend the title.

606: DEBATE
Congratulations Ahly. Mohamed Aboutrika should be named BBC African Footballer of the Year

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Aboutrika''''s goal was his eighth of the competition, allowing him to finish as joint leading goal-scorer in this year''''s Champions League.

Ahly, hampered by injuries and suspensions, had several lucky escapes in the first half at the November 7 stadium, notably when Sfaxien defender Issam Merdassi headed wide with the goal at his mercy on the half-hour mark.

Tarak Ziadi had the ball in the Egyptian team''''s net just after the interval but was flagged offside.

Television replays showed that the Sfaxien striker had beaten the offside trap.

Ahly showed more enterprise as Sfaxien sought to sit on the goalless scoreline and slow down the game with several incidents of gamesmanship.

Flavio smashed a powerful shot against the crossbar in the 79th minute and went narrowly wide with a similar shot soon after.

The win marked the third title for Ahly''''s Portuguese coach Manuel Jose, who also took the Egyptians to Champions League success in 2001 and 2005.



 
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