Pitso Mosimane’s Al-Ahly scored three goals in the second half to successfully defend their title, making it a 10th overall for the Cairo club.
Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Shaun Bartlett says his former club paid the price on Saturday for a lack of experience in the Caf Champions League final defeat to Al Ahly at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca.
The moment the game unequivocally swung took place just before the intervals, when a reckless tackle by Happy Mashiane on Akram Tawfik added in the first half, which led to the Chiefs wing being sent off the field to a VAR check.
The challenge was made in the Al Ahly half and was not necessary – Mashiane’s bloodshed to the head was Chiefs’ downfall, as Bartlett in the SuperSport TV studio after the match in Morocco:
“The broadcast made a big difference in terms of the outcome of the match, but I still have questions about where the goal would be,” the former Bafana Bafana forward began. “Even with 11 players on the field, there was no real threat to me, from Kaizer Chiefs to supporting forward [Samir] Nurkovic, who runs from midfield.
“They were hoping Mashiane would be one of the players, but that the tackle experience in the opposite half was unnecessary, and that cost them the game.”
Co SuperSport TV analyst Stanton Fredericks agrees with Bartlett in terms of Mashiane’s misconduct.
“The inexperience has really taken over from Kaizer Chiefs,” former Bafana Bafana, Orlando Pirates and Amakhosi midfielder said after the game. ‘When Mashiane got the red card, the writing was on the wall.
“If it was 11 v 11, Chiefs were defensively strong and they could possibly have reached a goal,” Fredericks continued, “but when they went to ten men, the shortcomings came and I think they had the referee where the second and the third purpose comes from.
“Kaizer Chiefs just could not keep up long enough, but the quality of Al Ahly came to the fore and it was only a matter of time before they passed.”