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Friday, 06 December 2019

Ahly blame fan trouble for Smouha thrashing, confident of league win

Ahly concede second defeat in fifth game since the beginning of the Egyptian Premier League season

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 18 Dec 2015
Jose Peseiro
Ahly Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro (L) alongside the team's football director Sayed Abdel Hafiz (R) during the 3-0 loss to Smouha in the Egyptian Premier League 17/12/2015 (Photo: Ahram)
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Ahly's newly appointed coach, Jose Peseiro, has revealed that he is confident of winning the Egyptian Premier League title despite the team's dip in form since the start of the current season.

The Cairo giants are ninth in the league table with 9 points after five games; they have won 3 and lost two, the first 1-0 to Maqassa in the fourth matchday and the second a 3-0 loss to Smouha on Thursday.

An under-pressure Ahly side endured a nightmarish night on Thursday during the defeat at home at the hands of Smouha, following a delay in match kickoff due to crowd trouble

The match, which was initially due to kick off at 19:45 Cairo local time, started two hours later after a group of fans, believed to belong to Ahly's Ultras, gathered to prevent the team's bus from getting into Cairo's Petrosport Stadium.

"What happened before the game affected on the players, so the game had to be delayed as the players lost their concentration," Peseiro said at the post-game press conference.

"I asked the players if they are ready for the game and they said yes. 

"They didn't follow my instructions as I was expecting more from them, but they lost focus," he added.

"We are not responsible for what happened before the game, the league is still long and I am confident of winning the title."

"We have no choice except to recover from our mistakes and get back on the right track to achieve the title," the Portuguese coach concluded.

Ahly's defence made horrible blunders at the back, conceding an early penalty and being hit twice on the counter attacks.

The team dominated possession but failed to capitalise on their chances or open any gaps in their rivals' compact defence.

Ahly will face Haras El-Hodoud in the ninth league matchday on Monday.

Ahly's football director, Sayed Abdel-Hafiz, has refused to comment on the fans' behaviour before the game, but has asked for the team's games to be moved from Petrosport Stadium to Cairo Stadium.

"We can't comment on what happened before the game as we all are in the same train," Abdel-Hafiz told reporters after the game.  

"We have to close Smouha's loss sheet and concentrate on the Haras El-Hodoud game as we still have more games in the league,"

"I ask the Egyptian authorities to move our games from the narrow Petrosport Stadium to Cairo Stadium to avoid what happened before the game next time," Abdel-Hafiz said.

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

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