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Soccer News of Friday, 27 October 2006

Source: Ghana Celebrities

Joetex seeks third Champions League medal

Ghanaian striker Joetex Frimpong will be seeking his third African Champions League winners' medal when his Tunisian side Sfaxien, meets Egyptian giants Al Ahli in the first leg of the final in Cairo on Sunday.

Frimpong was part of Enyimba's winning sides in 2003 and 2004.

Al Ahli continue their quest to become only the third side to defend their title when they host CS Sfaxien. Al Ahli start as favourites to repeat the feat achieved by TP Mazembe Englebert of the former Congo-Kinshasa in 1968 and Nigeria's Enyimba two years ago.

They face a dogged Sfaxien who have surpassed even their own expectations by reaching their first Champions League final.

The Tunisian provincial club became the first side to beat Al Ahli on African soil in more than two years when the won 1-0 in the group phase of the competition in July.

The result helped Sfaxien to finish above Al Ahli in the group standings, despite losing 2-1 in Cairo in the return match.

Sfaxien have won plaudits for their tenacious approach to the competition but they face an uphill task against a polished Egyptian outfit.

Al Ahli will rely on their experienced players to produce a performance similar to the one which helped the club to win last year's competition.

Their team also features eight members of Egypt's winning squad from this year's African Nations Cup.

EQUAL RECORD

Victory in the Champions League would also enable Al Ahli to equal Zamalek's record of five wins in the continent's top club competition.

Al Ahli have tried to escape the pre-match hype in Cairo by cloistering themselves in a resort on the edge of the Egyptian capital, leaving Sfaxien to fire off the verbal volleys in the build-up to Sunday's first leg.

Sfaxien coach Mrad Mahjoub, who took over in July after the departure of the Swiss Michel Decastel, said his side planned to cause an upset by dominating possession.

"There is no fear of Al Ahli or of the crowd that will be backing them. Our only real fear is that the referee will be intimidated by the big audience," Mahjoub said.

A question mark remains over the fitness of fullback Fateh Garbi who has been hampered by an ankle strain.

The Tunisian club remain optimistic he will be able to play a part in the match as he has travelled to Cairo.

The second leg of the final has been brought forward by a day and will now take place on Nov. 11 at Rades in Tunisia.

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