ES Setif became the first Algerian side to win the CAF Super Cup after beating Egyptian giants, Al Ahly, 6-5 on penalties on Saturday at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida.
‘Black Eagles’ goalkeeper Abdel Wahab Khedairia saved the decisive kick from Ahly defender Basem Mahmoud to propel the Setif-based club to the historic feat after Ahly striker Emad Meteab had canceled Abdelmalek Ziaya’s 70th minute opener in stoppage time.
The hosts were cruising to victory after Ziaya put them up by connecting in a cross from the left, only for Meteab, whose last gasp strike handed Ahly the Orange CAF Confederation Cup last December to scramble in the equalizer during the final seconds of added-on time.
The equalizer forced the game into penalties which the homers triumphed, adding the Super Cup title to their trophy cabinet after the CAF Champions League.
The North African country had to wait for 22-years to enjoy their first glory in the annual one-off match between the CAF Champions League winner and the CAF Confederation Cup champions. The only Algerian side to have had a taste of the ‘champion-of-champions’ match was JS Kabylie in 1996, but lost 1-0 to Orlando Pirates of South Africa in Johannesburg.
Ahly, record six-time winners of the CAF Super Cup were seeking to extend their dominance but were undone by a very determined ES Setif side, which never looked back from the start.
On a soggy night in Blida, it was Ahly, winners of the last two editions of the CAF Super Cup that had the first chance at goal after only 15 minutes. ES Setif left back Benjamin Ze Ondo fouled Ahly offensive midfielder Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet but the resultant free-kick by Walid Soliman was no trouble for Khedairia.
The hosts were better possession-wise and petit forward El Hedi Belameiri was denied by Ahly goalie Sherif Ekramy nine minutes before the break. Belameir profited from a poor clearance by Saad Samir but with only Ekramy to beat, the Ahly shot-stopper saved the situation with a touch of the ball to corner.
By the second half, the weather was back to normal with both teams making inroads into each other’s half for the opener. Ahly captain Hossam Ghaly was replaced by new recruit Moamen Zakaria on the hour-mark as Juan Carlos Garrido varied his tactics in the middle.
On 70 minutes, Ziaya who was a pain in the neck of the Ahly defence finally broke the deadlock by finishing off a cross from the left to set the stadium alive.
Ahly made two further changes bringing on Nigeria-import Peter Ebimobowei and Meteab, but it was the latter that made his experience count. The visitors pressed on for the equalizer which will come at the death.
ES Setif goalie Khedairia parried a seemingly harmless ball to Meteeb who struck a low shot past him for the equalizer in stoppage time, forcing the tie to be decided via penalties.
During the penalties, Mourad Delhoum, Farid Mellouli, Mohamed Benyettou, Eudes Dagoulou, Belameiri and Sid Ali Lamri scored for ES Setif whilst Zakaria, Abdallah Said, Meteab, Samir, and Trezeguet were on target for Ahly.
ES Setif goalie Khedairia saved the decisive kick by Basem to land his team the title.
It was the first time since 1994 that Ahly has tasted defeat in the CAF Super Cup. Twenty-one years ago, the Red Devils lost to bitterest rivals Zamalek in the 1994 edition held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
CAF President Issa Hayatou assisted by Algerian Minister of Youth and Sports, Mohamed Tahmi presented the giant trophy to ES Setif captain Mellouli amidst cheers from the ecstatic crowd.