It’s Super Cup time on the African football calendar and a rematch of the 2009 contest looms large in Cairo with Egyptian club side Al Ahly taking on visiting Tunisians, CS Sfaxien.
Five years ago the sides met in their first Super Cup match and on that February 6, 2009 also in Cairo at the International Stadium, Al Ahly triumphed 2-1 in Cairo. Angolan winger Flavio Amando struck a second half brace while Ivorian Blaise Kouassi scored for Sfaxien.
The Tunisians arrived in Egypt and immediately declared that they have set their sights or reversing their fortunes against Ahly, who also beat them by the same score line back in the 2005 CAF Champions League final. Sfaxien coach Hamadi Daw told the media, "We are here to play and win the Super Cup, on Thursday and we are determined to do our best in this match. We want to take the game to Ahly get an early lead which hopefully will make it difficult for Ahly. Ahly mighty not be playing their best football at present in the Egyptian League but that will not deceive us as Ahly remain a great team and will want to do well and improve on the current results." Said Daw.
Back in 2009 the Egyptian team was coached by Portuguese Manuel José while , a local Tunisian Ghazi Ghrayri was in charge of Sfaxien but since then both sides have gone through some changes. Mohamed Youssef will lead Ahly as head coach while Hamadi Daw is in charge after Dutchman Ruud Krol who masterminded Sfaxien’s Orange CAF Confederation Cup win last year left the club.
Sfaxien enter the Cairo International stadium seeking to overcome a formidable opponent with an impressive collection of accolades. Al Ahly’s trophy cabinet boosts 36 Egyptian league titles , 35 National Cups, 7 Egyptian Super Cups , 8 African Champions League titles, 4 Cup Winners Cup , 5 African Super Cup wins and one CAF 1 Afro-Asian Cup. The Egyptian giants have won an accumulated trophies that exceed hundred since their formation in April 24 1907.
In comparison, CS Sfaxien which is 21 years younger (the club was born in May 1928) has 8 national league titles, 4 Tunisian Cup wins, one Tunisian League Cup and one Tunisian Super Cup. Sfaxien made history in Africa by becoming the first club to win three times the Orange Confederation Cup since the inception of the event in 2004. CS Sfaxien also reached but lost the Confederation Cup final to FUS Rabat in 2010). Previously Sfaxien won the (1998) CAF Cup and the club played in final of the Champions League in 2006 against Al Ahly losing 2- 1 on aggregate win (Mohamed Aboutreika scoring both goals for the Egyptians while Ghanaian Joetex Frimpong replied for Sfaxien). Now Sfaxien will try again to end their miserable run against Al Ahly and the timing of the match and the slump in Ahly’s form might just be the tonic Sfaxien need to end their hoodoo.