Defending champions Al Ahly put their Total CAF Champions League campaign back on track with a well-worked 3-0 victory away to AS Vita Club at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa on Tuesday.
The victory sees the Red Devils move to seven points, three clear of the Congolese side. With two rounds of matches left to play, Ahly have primed themselves to fight for a slot in the last eight despite dropping points in two back to back matches.
Quick first half goals from Mohamed Sherif and Mohamed Magdy Afsha put Ahly flying in before substitute Taher Mohamed scored late to see Pitso Mosimane’s charges confirm victory in foreign land.
Knowing too well that only three points would put their quarter final hopes intact, the defending champions were faster off the blocks and just 17 seconds into the game, Mohamed El Soulia had already threatened with a shot from the left.
Ahly got into the lead six minutes into the game when Sherif’s shot off a Marwan Mohsen pass took a wicked deflection off Michael Mbambu before looping over keeper Simon Omossola who was in the form of his life when the two sides drew in Cairo 10 days ago.
The Egyptian giants should have doubled their lead eight minutes later, but Mohsen couldn’t get good power on the ball when he beat the offside trap to pick up a looped ball, but his volley wasn’t enough to provide danger.
Ahly were however 2-0 up after 19 minutes when Magdy side stepped on the right to find some space before unleashing a low shot past the keeper.
The goal deflated Vita, especially at a time when they were slowly growing into the game. But, they kept their fight and came closest a few minutes to the break when Zemanga Soze’s long range shot attracted a brilliant save from Mohamed Elshenawy.
Vita came back stronger in the second half and pinned Ahly in their own half, hoping to turn the game around and get back into contention.
They were denied by the crossbar five minutes after the restart when Ernest Luzolo came bombarding down on the left before firing past a dazed Elshenawy, but the effort came cracking under the woodwork.
Luzolo was once again in the nick of things three minutes later, a good run on the left earning him space before cutting back a cross, but substitute Wabantu Kabwe’s well struck shot went inches wide.
Vita kept the pressure with Kabwe once again seeing a chance go begging, this time his shot being saved under Elshenawy’s legs.
The home side’s fight was punctured 12 minutes from time when substitute Taher scored the third with a first time shot off a Walter Bwalya cross from the right.