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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ivorian Coulibaly continues fine form to guide Ahly to sixth straight win

Hatem Maher , Sunday 16 Apr 2017
Souleymane Coulibaly
File photo of Ahly's Ivorian striker Souleymane Coulibaly (Ahram)
Views: 2459
Views: 2459

Ivorian striker Souleymane Coulibaly maintained his fine goal-scoring run to help Ahly continue their steady march towards the Egyptian Premier League title with an easy 2-0 victory at Aswan on Sunday.

The January recruit, who joined from Scottish side Kilmarnock, netted his third goal in as many league matches after coach Hossam El-Badry had initially seemed to question his abilities after vowing not to sign any more players based on video highlights.

His bullet header following a right-wing cross doubled Ahly's advantage in the 11st minute after Mido Gaber had scored his first goal with the club to put them ahead.

Ahly's sixth consecutive win takes them a step closer to winning their ninth league title in 10 seasons.

The defending champions are on top with 64 points, 10 ahead of main challengers and surprise package Maqassa who have a game in hand. Aswan remain third from bottom with 18 points. 

Maqassa were due to play Zamalek earlier in the day but the latter declined to show up in protest at the match's date. Maqassa are likely to be given a walkover win that would put them seven points behind Ahly.

Gaber, who is yet to convince coach Hossam El-Badry that he deserves a place in the starting line-up, took advantage of a rare start to open his Ahly account after seven minutes.

He connected with an inch-perfect cross from Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul to volley against the post before slotting home into an empty net on the rebound.

Coulibaly made it 2-0 four minutes later with a trademark poacher's goal, sending a diving header home following a deep cross from right-back Ahmed Fathi.

His headed goals prompted many supporters to draw similarities between him and former Angolan striker Flavio, who was one of the mainstays of a hugely successful Ahly side in the past decade.

Aswan briefly threatened when energetic Ivorian forward Razak Cisse rattled the bar with a powerful drive that took a slight deflection.

Ahly were largely comfortable in the second half but needed a fine save from goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy in stoppage time to prevent Aswan from even grabbing a consolation.  

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