Al Ahly SC secured a 2-0 win over ES Setif in the 2018 CAF Champions League semifinal first-leg game at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Tuesday.
The win saw the Egyptian giants grab a 2-0 lead on aggregate ahead of the second-leg match which will be played in Algeria in three weeks’ time.
The hosts thought they had taken the lead just 20 minutes into the encounter following a brilliant headed goal by Walid Azarou.
However, the Morocco international’s goal was ruled offside as the visitors survived a scare.
Al Ahly pressed Setif and they managed to break the deadlock three minutes later through Walid Soliman.
The 33-year-old midfielder beat Setif goalkeeper Moustapha Zeghba to make it 1-0 to Al Ahly.
The Red Devils piled pressure on the Black Eagles after the half-hour mark, with Islam Mohareb working hard for the hosts.
The former Smouha midfielder managed to double the hosts' lead four minutes before the half-time break to make it 2-0 to Al Ahly.
The score was 2-0 to Al Ahly following a first half which was dominated by the hosts.
Setif head coach Rachid Taoussi made the first change of the game prior to the start of the second-half with Mohamed Bakir replacing Houssam Ghacha.
The visitors were looking to pull one back which would have been an important away goal for the Black Eagles.
However, the Al Ahly defence which was led by towering Malian defender Salif Coulibaly looked solid and organised.
Mohamed Sherif, who is an attacking midfielder, was introduced by Red Devils in the 75th minute as the hosts looked to extend their lead.
The two teams could not score in the closing stages of the encounter and ultimately, Al Ahly emerged 2-0 winners on the night.
Al Ahly (2) 2
ES Setif 0
Al Ahly: El Shenawy, Fathy, Ashraf, Maâloul, Coulibaly, Ashour (Sherif 75'), Soliman (Mohsen 84'), Mohamed, Hamoudi (Tawfik 67'), Mohareb, Azarou.
ES Setif: Zeghba, Rebiai, Ferhani, Bedrane, Radouani, Djabou (Banouh 90'+2), Sidhoum (Saadi 85'), Djahnit, Aiboud, Bouguelmouna, Ghacha (Bakir 46').