Ahly, Etoile and Khouribga celebrate title triumphs
Al Ahly of Egypt, Etoile Sahel of Tunisia and Olympic Khouribga of Morocco were celebrating national title triumphs Monday.
Defenders Shady Mohamed and Emad al-Nahas scored as CAF Champions League holders Ahly defeated army club Al-Gaish 2-0 in Cairo to win their third consecutive championship.
Ahly have 70 points with three fixtures to fulfil, nine more than Ismailia with Zamalek a further two points behind. Ismailia have played one match more than the Cairo clubs.
While Ahly are assured of a place in the 2008 African Champions League, the struggle for the second spot has intensified with Ismailia and Zamalek winning handsomely at the weekend.
Ismailia, the first Egyptian winners of the African Champions League, triumphed 3-1 at lowly Suez Cement through goals from Mohamed Hommos, Abdullah al-Shahat and Mohamed Fadl.
Zamalek won 3-0 in a stormy clash at Sawahel with Mahmoud Shikabala on target twice and Abdelhalim Ali once for the ’White Knights’, who share with Ahly the record of five African Champions League titles.
Etoile won 2-1 at Club Sportif Sfaxien to remain five points ahead of Club Africain with just one round left. Defending champions Esperance share third place with US Monastir.
Amine Chermiti broke the deadlock seven minutes into the second half and Sabeur Ben Frej converted a penalty soon after as Etoile finally shed their bridesmaid tag having finished second for the last seven seasons.
If perennial underachievers Club Africain lose their final fixture, Esperance or Monastir could snatch second place and a passport to the lucrative African Champions League.
Khouribga drew 0-0 at relegation-threatened Ittihad Tanger to take an unassailable lead as they lie seven points ahead of FAR Rabat with two rounds left.
Military club FAR fell 2-1 at mid-table Hassania Agadir, third-placed Moghreb Tetouan drew 1-1 at Ittihad Khemisset and defending champions Wydad Casablanca fought a goalless draw at Kawkab Marrakech to lie fourth.
Entente Setif need six points from their last three fixtures to clinch the Algerian title. The ’Black Eagles’ have 50 points after 27 rounds, four more than defending champions Jeunesse Sportive Kabylie.
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