Full-time: Al Ahly 3-0 Auckland City
A comfortable victory for Al Ahly, who stepped things up a gear in the second half and were never in any danger.
The opening stages of the first half suggested that we might be in for a tight game. Al Ahly did most of the running, with Abdelkader a constant menace out on the left flank and Sherif looking for balls in behind the Auckland defence at all times. The striker did have a couple of decent sights of goal but the New Zealanders managed to snuff out the threat of the Al Ahly attackers up until the stroke of half time. Albert Riera will be desperately disappointed with the goal his side conceded seconds before the whistle, with El Shahat given far too much time to fire a shot low into the net, which goalkeeper Tracey really should have saved.
The timing of the goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Auckland for the second half as they failed to offer any kind of threat, with a tame effort late on from Gillion barely even worth a mention. Instead, all of the attacking verve came at the other end of the field, with Al Ahly finding more and more space in behind the opposition defence as the half wore on. Sherif was the main beneficiary and eventually got his goal – his team’s second – with also missing some other reasonable opportunities before and after. A superbly worked third goal for Tau added some gloss to the scoreline and sends the Egyptians comfortably into the second round, where they will face Seattle Sounders.