Al Ahly win 12th African Champions League title

Al Ahly's players celebrate their team's first goal during the second leg of the African Champions League final against Esperance
Both Al Ahly and beaten finalists Esperance will play in Fifa's expanded Club World Cup next year [Getty Images]

Egyptian giants Al Ahly won a record-extending 12th African Champions League title after beating Esperance 1-0 in the second leg of the final in Cairo.

The first leg had ended goalless in Tunisia last Saturday, and the hosts took an early lead when Rami Rabia's header from Hussein El Shahat's corner deflected off Esperance midfielder Roger Aholou and into the bottom right-hand corner.

Wessam Abou Ali struck the side-netting and Percy Tau fired narrowly wide as Al Ahly looked to extend their lead before the break, while El Shahat was denied by visiting goalkeeper Amanallah Memmiche.

Yan Sasse curled off target for Esperance just after the hour mark and the Tunisian club struggled to create chances against a miserly Al Ahly defence.

Substitute Afsha came close to doubling the hosts' advantage in the closing stages but his free-kick hit the crossbar, and Al Ahly saw out six minutes of added time to seal a 1-0 win on aggregate and a fourth triumph in five years.

Marcel Koller's men went unbeaten throughout this season's tournament - matching the feat of their 2005 side - with Mostafa Shobeir keeping nine consecutive clean sheets.

The Cairo club extended their unbeaten run in continental competition to 22 games, and won back-to-back Champions League titles for a fourth time.

Both Al Ahly and Esperance had already qualified for Fifa's expanded 32-team Club World Cup, which will be held in the United States in June and July next year, alongside Wydad Casablanca and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Al Ahly fans ahead of the African Champions League final at the Cairo International Stadium
A capacity crowd at the Cairo International Stadium saw hosts Al Ahly win a fourth Champions League title in five years [Getty Images]