A brave 10-man Kaizer Chiefs fell short at the final hurdle as Pitso Mosimane's formidable Al Ahly side clinched a convincing 3-0 win to defend their CAF Champions League crown at the Mohamed V Stadium on Saturday.
AS IT HAPPENED | Al Ahly 3-0 Kaizer Chiefs
Al Ahly made their numerical advantage count after Happy Mashiane received his marching orders as goals by Mohamed Sherif, Mohamed Afsha and Amr El Solia secured their 10th continental title.
The win also sees South Africa's Pitso Mosimane win consecutive CAF Champions League titles and his third overall.
Chiefs started brightly in the early stages as they held their own in the opening 20 minutes with Mashiane particularly dangerous as an inverted winger on the left flank.
With no fans allowed, the magnitude of the final as an occasion perhaps failed to transfer as a spectacle as both teams eased into the contest with the lack of atmosphere.
As the game wore on, Al Ahly found increasing joy in their counter-pressing as they regularly stripped Chiefs of possession in dangerous areas within their own half.
Chiefs suffered a major blow in first-half stoppage time when Mashiane received a straight red card for a reckless challenge after the referee consulted with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Mashiane's sending off left Chiefs with the daunting task of playing the entire second half with just 10 men after an already difficult first period.
Al Ahly needed little time to make their numerical advantage count as Sherif's movement proved too good for the Chiefs defence to hand the Red Devils the lead in the 52nd minute.
Sherif did well to latch onto an Akram Tawfik through-ball before dinking the ball home over an on-rushing Daniel Akpeyi.
The Egyptian giants punished Chiefs shortly afterwards as they doubled their lead in the 64th minute with a ruthless counter-attack as Afsha bent in a superb strike off the post.
Al Ahly put the game beyond doubt as a contest in the 74th minute with a carbon-copy effort of the second goal as midfielder El Solia curled an unstoppable strike beyond Akpeyi.
That's how the scores remained as the Egyptian side reaffirmed their status as the best team in Africa.