Last Update 22:46
Thursday, 24 October 2019

Ahly savour 'special' Egyptian league triumph

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Jul 2019
Ahly celebrate their Egyptian league triumph (Ahram)
Views: 1491
Views: 1491

Although Ahly won the Egyptian Premier League title in 12 out of the past 13 editions, Wednesday's triumph was even sweeter given that they appeared off track at the halfway stage.

Zamalek looked frontrunners to be crowned champions for the first time since 2015, opening up a comfortable lead that at some point reached eight points.

But Ahly staged a remarkable comeback to shock their perennial rivals, with some high-profile January signings making the difference as Zamalek failed to maintain their momentum when it mattered most.

Ahly won the title with one match to spare after a 3-0 victory over Arab Contractors gave them an unassailable five-point lead over Zamalek.

"When I took charge of the club [in January] we were far behind, but we were up to the challenge," Ahly's Uruguayan coach Martin Lasarte told ON Sport after the game.

"We were told the situation was difficult, but we are happy with what we have reached now."

A nine-match winning streak in January and February put Ahly on the right track and although they slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Pyramids in April which appeared to derail their title bid, they quickly recovered to assert their authority.

Ahly's rise coincided with a sudden dip in form of challengers Pyramids and Zamalek, with the latter eventually paying the price of opting against renewing the contract of Swiss coach Christian Gross with four matches remaining.

After the departure of Gross, who led Zamalek to the Confederation Cup title for their first African title since 2003, the White Knights veered off the track, with two successive draws against Haras El-Hodoud and Gouna costing them dear.

"This title is special. Where are the people now who kept saying we were out of the race?" said skipper and long-serving midfielder Hossam Ashour, who won his 12th league title with Ahly.

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

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.