Goals either side of half-time from Raphael Veiga and Dudu put the Copa Libertadores winners firmly in command at the Al Nayhan Stadium, a short journey from the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium where the Blues will be in action tomorrow, and they survived a couple of scares to emerge comfortable 2-0 victors.
Abel Ferreira, the Palmeiras manager, utilised a 4-3-3 formation that could easily switch to a solid 4-5-1 out of possession. Al Ahly adopted a similar shape but lacked the inventiveness of their counterparts in the final third, something that ultimately decided this semi-final.
The Brazilians’ first goal arrived in the 39th minute when Dudu cleverly released Veiga with an outside-of-the-boot flick. The attacking midfielder, who opened the scoring in the Libertadores final in November, got sufficient power and accuracy on his strike for it to beat Aly Lofty in the Egyptians’ goal.