Percy Tau helped Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly take the lead in their CAF Champions League first leg semi-final on Saturday, with the South African playmaker scoring a brace of tries in a 4-0 thrashing of ES Setif.
It now remains to be seen whether Mosimane can go on to claim three Champions League trophies in succession, which would further cement his status as the leading coach on the continent.
In 2020, Mosimane and his charges proved too strong for rivals Zamalek, while they thrashed Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in the 2020-2021 final.
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Notably for Al Ahly, Percy Tau was restored to the starting XI and repaid Mosimane’s faith in him with a 30th-minute header to give the Egyptian giants a crucial lead at home against their Algerian opponents ES Setif this past weekend.
After a lengthy goal drought, the Bafana Bafana star scored a second goal later in the game and created one as the Team of the Century claimed a 4-0 win over the Algerians.
“We need to be patient; after his [Tau] goal drought, he scored in an important game in the semi-final of the Caf Champions League,” Pitso Mosimane told the media.
“I know that we have a problem in finishing our chances but we need to be calm about it and I am happy that we managed to score four goals.
“ES Setif are a strong team and they had chances to score, but the sending off certainly helped us and we capitalised on it but this is football.
“When you create a lot of chances, you know you’re on the right track, even if you’re not scoring enough goals. Percy Tau and Mohamed Sherif scored because they are forwards, but Taher’s goal is the most important for me because I played him as a striker and had he not scored, I would get blamed for making such a decision.
“We still haven’t qualified to the final yet despite the flattering scoreline, and it won’t be easy to play against ES Setif in the return leg.
“Before the red card, we were playing well and controlled the game, but what would happen if we had won by just one goal with a man advantage? I would’ve been criticised by the media.”
AL AHLY CAME UP AGAINST JUST 10 MEN
ES Setif were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Amir Karaoui was shown a straight red card in the 35th minute.
Al Ahly are the defending champions after a 3-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs in last season’s final.