Ahly’s Uruguayan coach Martin Lasarte says that Monday's win over Wadi Degla is a precious victory over a strong opponent, and blamed the league's intense schedule for the team's successive injures this season.
A double by midfielder Amr El-Sulaya and Tunisia’s left back Ali Maaloul led the defending champions Ahly to beat Degla 2-1, cutting Zamalek’s lead down to nine points.
"We secured a precious win over a strong opponent. We got three important points to continue our way to the league summit successfully," Lasarte said in the press conference after the match.
"The first goal [on minute 17] made our mission easier. The performance became better in the second half," he added.
The victory is Martin Lasarte’s second in three league games, putting Ahly at 33 points from 16 games, while Zamalek is at 42 points from 17 games.
Ahly welcomed back defender Saad Samir, striker Salah Mohsen and winger Gerlado, who had been out with injuries.
It was still a difficult night as January signings Yasser Ibrahim and Ramadan Sobhi were stretched off with injuries.
"The interval between matches is seven days all over the world, but in Egypt it is only three days," the Ahly coach said.
"The intense match schedule causes fatigue, and so the injuries are logical due to playing many successive matches.
"Today the technical staff is working for a month. We work hard on the players' fitness and I am satisfied with the programme that we did," he concluded.
Ahly will be hosting Tanzanian side Simba SC on Saturday in the third round of the CAF Champions League group stage. The Cairo club leads Group D with four points.
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