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Ahly keeper Ekramy under fire after fatal error against Esperance

Ahram Online , Sunday 17 Sep 2017
Ekramy
Al-Ahly's goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy reacts after Esperance of Tunis scored a goal during the CAF Champions League quarterfinal first-leg football match between Egypt's Al-Ahly and Tunisia's Esperance of Tunis at Borg Al-Arab Stadium near Alexandria on September 16, 2017 AFP
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Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy has come under fire after his fatal error in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Tunisia's Esperance.

The Reds lost two precious points at home in the first leg of the African Champions League quarter finals.

The 34-year-old Ekramy, who contributed to guiding Ahly to winning the domestic double (the League and Cup titles) last season, was severely criticised by both the club’s fans and the media for missing an easy shot that caused the second goal, but the technical staff has kept some balance.

When the international keeper attempted to catch a long-range free kick from Ghailane Chaalali, the ball slipped between his hands into his own net, bringing the score to a 2-1 lead for Esperance in the 48th minute after first half goals from teammate Abdallah El-Said and Esperance's Yassine Khenessi.

Ahly's goalkeeping coach Tarek Soliman said that Ekramy takes full responsibility for the second goal, while head coach Hossam El-Badry avoided adding to Ekramy’s woes, refusing to comment on the player's error during the press conference.

However, one of the assistants showed clear support for the player.

"We have full confidence in Ekramy and we won't blame him for the draw," Ahly's assistant coach Sayed Moawad told an Egyptian radio station on Sunday.

"It is normal for any player to experience a day of bad luck,” Moawad said.

"We [Ahly's technical staff] don't assign personal blame, as we evaluate our work collectively."

Moroccan striker Walid Azaro earned the draw for the eight-time African Champions Ahly in the 67th minute, though hopes were still diminished for the Reds ahead of next week’s return leg in Rades.

"Now we should only think about the second leg in Tunisia. The technical staff is who will determine whether Ekramy will be available for the match, but I can confirm that we have three goalkeepers in the squad who are all ready for the goalkeeping role," the assistant coach concluded.

Ahly will now head to Rades in hopes for a victory on Saturday in their quest for their first title since 2013.

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