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Losing to ZESCO is not the end, Ahly coach says

Ahly lost their first game in the CAF Champions League group stage away from home on Saturday

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 18 Jun 2016
Martin Jol
Martin Jol, coach of Egypt's Al Ahly (Reuters)
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After losing 3-2 to Zambia's ZESCO United in the CAF Champions League group stage opener, Ahly's Dutch coach Martin Jol praised the performance of the opponents but believes it's not the end and the team have to return to form soon.

Ahly were duly punished for their disastrous defending to slump to a surprise 3-2 defeat at Zambia's ZESCO United, their first loss in an African Champions League group-stage opener since 2006.

"We started the game in a very badly but we managed to be back again and prepared for mistakes in the second half," Jol told the post game press conference.

"We faced a well organised team but to lose the first game in the group stage is worst thing so we have to come back soon," he added.

Although Ahly's Dutch coach Martin Jol fielded a three-man midfield to stifle ZESCO's attack, the hosts largely enjoyed smooth rides to the penalty area, helped in part by repeated mistakes from skipper Hossam Ghaly.

"Ahly players used to play at night during Ramadan as they are fasting and that affected their performance," Jol said.

"We have to recover from today's loss quickly."

Ahly are scheduled to face Ismaily in the Egyptian Premier League on 24 June.

"We have a tough game against Ismaily in the Egyptian Premier League so we should concentrate on this game."

"Ahly have tough competition in the Champions League though the loss is not the end," Jol concluded.

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