Soccer-Al Ahly and Esperance play out goalless draw in first leg of African Champions League final


TUNIS (Reuters) - Holders Al Ahly of Egypt held out for a goalless draw in Saturday’s first leg of the African Champions League final at Esperance of Tunisia, putting them in an advantageous position for next week’s return in Cairo.

Al Ahly are looking to extend their dominance of club football on the continent with a fourth Champions League success in the last five seasons, and a record extending 12th overall.

They had a defensive approach to the away match at the Rades stadium and restricted their hosts to a single early chance that Esperance’s Brazilian import Rodrigo Rodrigues headed wide of goal.

It proved a dour encounter with no other chances in the match.

It is Esperance’s first final appearance since winning the Champions League in 2019. They are bidding for a fifth continental title.

The second leg will be played in Cairo next Saturday.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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