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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Scrappy goal gives Ahly narrow win over bottom side Tanta in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Saturday 26 Sep 2020
Amr El-Sulaya
File photo of Amr El-Sulaya (L), who scored Ahly's winner (Ahram)
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A late scrappy goal from midfielder Amr El-Sulaya gave champions Ahly a 1-0 win over bottom side Tanta on Saturday in what could be coach Rene Weiler's last Egyptian Premier League game in charge of the Red Devils.

A headed pass from playmaker Magdi Afsha across the box found the unmarked El-Sulaya, with the ball coming off his knee and past the keeper from close range with 10 minutes remaining.

It was another lethargic display from Ahly despite playing with an almost full-strength side, raising concerns over the team's form before their vital clash against Morocco's Wydad in the African Champions League semi-final next month.

Swiss boss Weiler, who steered Ahly to their fifth straight league title with six rounds to spare earlier this month, could have led the team for the last time in the premier domestic competition.

The Red Devils said Weiler's fate will be decided on Thursday, with the 47-year-old reportedly planning to take advantage of a clause in his contract that allows him to leave without paying any penalties in the first 10 days of October.

Ahly had a goal disallowed on the stroke of halftime after a VAR review when winger Mahmoud Kahraba controlled a cross and blasted home. Replays showed that the ball had hit his arm.

The Cairo giants overwhelmed their feeble opponents in the second half, with defender Rami Rabia missing a sitter and Afsha having a low shot smothered by the keeper after an inviting cross from substitute Hussein El-Shahat, who made his long-awaited return from injury.

The breakthrough finally came on 80 minutes and Ahly held on for a second successive win, which allowed in-form keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi to equal a league record for the most clean sheets a season (23), joining former teammate Sherif Ekramy.

El-Shennawi will likely break the record as Ahly still have four matches to play. Tanta will almost certainly play in the second division next season as they lie at the bottom with 18 points, 12 adrift of safety.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
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