Ahly win penalty shootout to reach Champions League final

Al Ahly celebrate winning the 2012 African Champions League

Al Ahly are on course to defend their African Champions League crown after they beat Cameroon's Coton Sport in a penalty shoot-out to reach the final.

The Cairo club won the spot-kick contest 7-6 in the Red Sea resort El Gouna after the second leg of their semi-final ended in a 1-1 draw.

A 1-1 draw in the first leg meant the two clubs ended 2-2 on aggregate.

Ahly will meet Orlando Pirates of South Africa in the two-legged final next month after the South African side beat Esperance on away goals in their semi-final.

Abdullah Al Saied scored after three minutes to give the Egyptian club the perfect start, leaping above two defenders to head home a sweeping cross from Sayed Moawad in one of the first attacks of the game.

Ahly, who rested three internationals involved in Egypt's 6-1 loss to Ghana in Tuesday's World Cup qualifying play-off, had several chances to extend the lead in the opening half-hour but Coton Sport struck a well-deserved equaliser in the 65th minute.

A sweeping move down the left ended with a cross that allowed Alexis Yougouda to score his seventh goal of the campaign, sliding home the ball from close range.

In the shoot-out, Mohamed Aboutrika missed the first kick for Ahly but his team-mates scored from the next seven. Coton Sport's decisive miss came from Jacques Haman.

The match was played behind closed doors because of a spectator ban for Ahly following recent crowd violence. Their coach Mohamed Youssef was also banished to the stands after being sent off during the first leg in Garoua two weeks ago.

Ahly have won the Champions League seven times, making them African football's most successful club.