JOHANNESBURG - Al-Ahly are on the brink of becoming the first Egyptian club to reach the CAF Confederation Cup final.
The Cairo 'Red Devils' have home advantage and a 1-0 lead over Cameroonians Coton Sport going into the second leg of a semi-final this weekend.
A goal by diminutive midfielder Walid Soliman in Garoua put Ahly in the powerful position against opponents they have constantly had the edge over.
Ahly defeated Coton 4-2 on aggregate in the 2008 CAF Champions League final and on penalties last year in a semi-final of the same competition.
While Egypt are the dominant African club force with 31 titles -- including a record 18 won by Ahly -- the furthest they have gone in the Confederation Cup is the semi-finals.
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Unfashionable Cairo outfit ENPPI reached the last four in 2009 before losing 6-4 overall to eventual title winners Malians Stade Malien.
Ahly, demoted to the second-tier Confederation Cup after losing a CAF Champions League final-round qualifier, have made steady rather than spectacular progress to the semi-finals.
A win and a loss against Zambians Nkana, a win and a draw against Ivorians Sewe Sport and two draws with Tunisians Etoile Sahel earned top spot in Group B.
Lack of goals has been the chief headache for Spanish coach Juan Carlos Garrido with only eight in nine games and no marksman managing more than two.
Some comfort for Coton is an unbeaten away Cup record this season with a win at Ivorians ASEC Mimosas and draws with Angolans Petro Atletico, Congolese AC Leopards and Malians Real Bamako.They also boast a consistent scorer in five-goal Niger star Daouda Kamilou, a survivor of the losing 2008 final team.
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