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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007, 22:11 GMT 23:11 UK
Ahly 0-4 Barcelona
By Ben Wyatt
BBC Sport, Cairo International Stadium

An Ahly fan
There was a carnival atmosphere as Ahly fans celebrated 100 years

Ahly's birthday celebrations were slightly doused in Cairo on Tuesday as European champions Barcelona thumped them 4-0 in a centenary friendly.

The reigning African champions were outclassed by the Spanish league leaders as Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, who grabbed a brace, was joined on the scoresheet by Javier Saviola and Bojan Krkic.

Despite the presence of Ronaldinho, Deco, Lionel Messi and company, Barcelona's sophisticated display and footballing lesson was not necessarily the preferred birthday present for Ahly's fans.

As so often before, Mohamed Aboutreika was the Cairo club's stand-out performer but even he could not stem the wave of Barca attacks.

The Egyptians were poor as they struggled to retain the ball and fashion chances even though Barcelona often seemed to be going through the motions.

Such was the Spaniards' dominance that Ahly's only shot on target in the second half came nine minutes from time as Ossama Hosni wasted a good chance on the right-hand side of the box.

Indeed, such was Barca's control that at a match attended by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, many of the crowd left early as both temperatures and passions dropped.

Ahly fans must have realised it was not going to be a night to savour when diminutive Argentine Javier Saviola headed home from a corner after just 16 minutes.

And one 'man' who will never forget this friendly is 16-year-old Bojan Krkic, who doubled Barcelona's lead after 25 minutes as he buried a shot from 18 yards out.

Shortly after, Emad Moteab came the closest to scoring for Ahly but the striker fired his shot straight at the keeper when one-on-one five yards out.

Late in the second half, Eto'o showed his scoring prowess as he took a pass from Messi in the area, held off his man before jinking round goalkeeper Essam El Hadary for a simple finish.

On the stroke of full-time, the Cameroonian wrapped up the scoring as he coolly slotted home after Messi played him in once more with a slide-rule pass.

Despite Ahly's subdued display and poor result, at least some 75,000 turned out for their 100th birthday party.

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24 Apr 07 |  African
Ahly set to mark 100 years
23 Apr 07 |  African
At 98, Rashad lives for Ahly
23 Apr 07 |  African


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