Hopes of Sunshine Stars making a debut appearance in the CAF Champions League final crashed Sunday night as the Akure Gunners were defeated by Al Ahly 1-0 in the second leg semi final duel in Cairo.
Al Ahly have thus qualified for their ninth African Champions Club cup final having defeated the Nigerian flag bearers who are first timers in the continent’s biggest club competition.
Veteran striker Ahmed Gedo scored in 28th minute of the encounter played behind closed doors to give Ahly a 1-0 lead on the night and a 4-3 aggregate over two legs having played out a nail biting 3-3 draw in the first leg in Ijebu Ode.
The game ended with Sunshine the more aggressive side, but they could not prevent another all North African final, as Al Ahly will now face Esperance in the two legged game to determine the next Club Champions of Africa.
Meanwhile, Sunshine Stars officials say they have filed a protest letter to the Africa’s football governing body as the team was reportedly held hostage at their hotel few hours before the match.
A top official of the club, Mike Idoko, stated that players and officials of the team were held hostage for nearly an hour before the match but they decided to play to avoid possible sanction by CAF.
“Our players and officials are terrified with what happened and they are psychologically affected by the experience and are not in good frame of mind to play the match but we don’t want to take chances to get sanction from CAF so we will be playing but it will be under protest,” Idoko said on air before the match.