Tunisian side Esperance managed a valuable away 1-1 draw with Egypt's Ahly in the 2012 Orange CAF Champions League final first leg match played in Egypt’s second largest city of Alexandria.
Waleed Hichri gave the visitors the lead 2 minutes after the break while substitute Elsayed Hamdy equalized for Ahly two minutes from full time. The second leg is to be played on November 17th at the Rades Stadium in Tunis. Esperance enjoy the home advantage and take an away goal into the return leg.
Ahly started the first half on attacking note and Hosam Ghaly's long ball missed Waleed Suleiman in the first minute. Esperance closed their defensive area with five players in the midfield. Tunisian keeper Moez Ben Chrifieh stopped Abdullah El Said's shot after 14 minutes, and he was there again for another shot from El Said five minutes later.
Ahly's best chance of the first half came after 33 minutes when Ahmed Fathy's cross from the right side found Mohamed Abou Treika inside the area but his shot came over the crossbar. Defensive style from the Tunisians hindered any more chances to see the first half end in goalless draw.
Right after the restart defender Walid Hichri gave Esperance the lead when he was the quickest to react to Khalil Chamam's corne kick. Ahly pushed all their players in attack searching for the equalizer but the visitors keeper Ben Chrifia was there to stop Geddo and Hamdy's efforts. Abou Treka came closer to score but his shot from three yards was amazingly kept out by Ben Chrifia with his outstretched leg.
It wasnt till the 88th minute when home side Ahly eventually found an equalizer when Ahmed Fathy’s clever pass reached substitute Hamdy who shot past Ben Chrifia much to the delight of Ahly fans and relief of the hosts.