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CafCL: Junior Ajayi shines as Al Ahly ousts Sundowns

Junior Ajayi returned to action for Al Ahly despite fears a knee injury in December could keep him out for the long haul.

Al Ahly forward Junior Ajayi was impressive for the Egyptian side as they zoomed into the semifinals of the CAF Champions league on Saturday edging out Mamelodi Sundowns on 3-1 aggregate.

The former CS Sfaxien ace produced some impressive runs including a strike that would have resulted in a goal but for extra effort by Sundowns goalie Denis Onyango just twenty minutes to the end of the match.

The eight time Champions league winners who went into the match with two goals advantage scored in Cairo, fought in the second leg in Rainbow Nation as if they had no advantage in the kitty. The pressure mounted by the Egyptian side yielded the much needed result in the 21st minute when Lebohang Maboe deflected a free kick into his own net to hand the visitor early lead.

Although Gaston Sirino scored Sundowns afterwards to put the result at 1-1, it was apparent that the early lead hit the homers who had hoped to turn the table at home below the belt.

The South African side at this point needed at least three goals to progress, a dream which Junior Ajayi and his teammates fought hard to scuttle.

Gingered by a big crowd at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Sundowns probed and pressed as the minutes ticked away to no avails.

Near scoring efforts made by Sibusiso Vilakazi and Zwane were neutralised by the effort of Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy.

The other semifinalists are c who overcame ES Tunis on a 3-2 aggregate and Raja Casablanca who overcame TP Mazembe on 2-1 aggregate.

The final team to complete the semifinal fixtures will emerge later today after the match between Wydad Casablanca and Etoile du Sahel in Rades.

Casablanca go into the match with 2-0 advantage and may need to fight to the finish if they hope to stop Sahel from turning the table in Rades.

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