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Friday, 19 October 2018

Ahly's Champions League hopes still alive, says under-fire coach

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 May 2018
Hossam El-Badry
Ahly's coach Hossam El-Badry (Photo: Reuters)
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Ahly's under-fire coach Hossam El-Badry believes his side's chances in the African Champions League are still alive despite Tuesday's stunning 2-0 loss to Kampala City in Uganda.  

The eight-time African champions, who started their group stage campaign with a disappointing goalless draw at home to Esperance, were undone by two late goals from Ibrahim Juma and Timohty Awany.

Ahly fell to the bottom of Group A with only one point from their opening two matches. Kampala have three points from two games.

Botswana's Township Rollers and Esperance, who have one point each, meet in the other group match later on Tuesday.  

"Our chances are still alive in the Champions league," El-Badry told the post-match news conference.

"There are four matches remaining in the group stage and we are capable with our experience to bounce back and clinch one of the two qualifying tickets of the group."

El-Badry added that his side's performance was convincing, especially in the first-half that saw Walid Soliman squander a penalty in the 23rd minute. 

"We produced a fine performance in the first half and we won a penalty but the performance was poor in the second half and this allowed the hosts to score twice."

"We suffered many absences and this is is not normal." he added, referring to a string of injuries which hit his key players including Moroccan striker Walid Azaro, Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul and Nigerian deep-lying forward Junior Ajayi.

Reports suggested that El-Badry could lose his job after Tuesday's loss, which extended Ahly's winless run to four matches in all competitions.

Ahly slumped to their first league loss to arch rivals Zamalek in 11 years, exited the Egypt Cup at the quarter-final stage following a 1-0 defeat by unfancied Assiouty Sport and stumbled in their opening two Champions League games.

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

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