Ahly caretaker coach Fathi Mabrouk has expressed his surprise at his team's 1-0 defeat by Haras El-Hodoud in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday.
"Football has many surprises. It wasn't our day, despite having the upper hand the whole game," Mabrouk told the club's official website.
This was the first defeat for the titleholders under Mabrouk, who succeeded Spaniard Juan Carlos Garrido earlier this month.
"El-Hodoud is a very respectable team in the league and we focused on trying to score an early goal, but keeper Ahmed Saad delivered a great performance and was able to keep his net clean," Mabrouk added.
Ahly remained third in the table with 55 points, 11 behind first-placed Zamalek who have a game in hand. El-Hodoud are 14th with 39 points.
The 64-year-old tactician criticised referee Mohamed Farouk for showing the team's skipper two cards in one minute after the player lost his temper. The club fined Ghaly and made Emad Meteb captain.
Haras El-Hodoud coach Abdel-Hamid Bassuoni was pleased with the result, but also praised his opponents.
"We were in very bad need of the three points to avoid relegation, but Ahly is a big team who played a good game and wasted many chances," the military-owned club's tactician was quoted as saying by Ahly website.
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