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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Super men

Saturday 28 Sep 2019
Super cup
Maloul, left, celebrates with goalscorer Ajay
Views: 147
Views: 147

Ahly were crowned Super Cup winners for the 11th time in their history. After a thrilling 3-2 victory over Zamalek on Friday, Ahli lifted their second trophy of the year.

The Egyptian Super Cup was played in Borg Al-Arab Stadium between the Premier League winners Ahly and Cup winners Zamalek. 

Ahly President Mahmoud Al-Khatib said that his club deserved to beat Zamalek and lift the trophy.

“Lifting this trophy at the start of the season will give everyone a big responsibility in the upcoming period to secure more wins and trophies to make our fans happy and reach our domestic goals.

“The big effort put in by the coaching staff and the players along with discipline and manners was shown during the Super Cup,” Al-Khatib told the Ahly club Website.

Now, the Reds’ fans are more confident with their new Swiss manager René Weiler. Weiler has now won his first two games with Ahly, 2-0 against Kano Sport in the African Champions League and now the Cairo derby. It is obvious that Weiler will count on the 4-2-3-1 formation in his upcoming matches in the Egyptian league, relying on Hussein Al-Shahat, Ramadan Sobhi and Junior Ajay up front. 

During the Super Cup, several Ahly players went down. Centre back Mahmoud Metwalli was subbed off after 27 minutes after he injured a hamstring. Yasser Ibrahim came off the pitch in the second half with 18 minutes remaining due to tired leg muscles while Amr Al-Sulaya suffered from a bruised foot after full time.

The Red Devils confirmed in a statement that Metwalli underwent scans and is expected to be out for four weeks due to torn ligaments in his thigh.

Ibrahim and Al-Sulaya will receive treatment and are expected to return soon to team training.

On the other hand, Zamalek’s former players and head coaches criticised the decision by Milutin Sredojević, Zamalek’s new Serbian coach, known as Micho, to keep Mustafa Mohamed, Zamalek’s striker, on the bench. They also questioned why he benched one of the best left backs in Egypt Abdullah Gomaa.

Zamalek’s centre back Mahmoud Alaa scored a brace from the penalty spot, however, the team failed to equalise as Ahly maintained discipline and composure until the referee blew the fulltime whistle.

“We lost due to a mistake in the starting lineup,” Zamalek Club President Mortada Mansour told Al-Hadath TV channel.

“[Youssef] Obama needs rest and to stop participating. I don’t know if it’s football saturation or exhaustion are the cause of his current form.

“This isn’t the Ferjani Sassi we know. He needs a moment alone. Maybe he’s not happy with something.

“I’m not sad because of the defeat. You [Micho] learn from your mistakes. Now the Super Cup is over and now we have to focus on what’s coming.

“If Micho had started the game with the same lineup as the second half, things would’ve been different. But “if” is the devil’s work. We can’t use it in football,” Mansour said.

 *A version of this article appears in print in the 26 September, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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