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Saturday, 16 December 2017

Unstoppable Ahly ease past Enppi to move second in Egyptian league

Hatem Maher , Saturday 2 Dec 2017
Ahly
File photo of Ahly's Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi (Ahram)
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Ahly enjoyed another satisfying night in the Egyptian Premier League, easing past Enppi with a 4-1 win to register their seventh victory out of eight matches and move second in the table on Saturday.

Central defender Saad Samir fired them in front on 28 minutes and in-form Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi doubled the lead with a sublime effort 11 minutes later as Enppi's porous backline cost them dearly.

Striker Salah Mohsen pulled one back for Enppi before the break but Moroccan frontman Walid Azaro killed off their hopes when he made it 3-1 nine minutes after restart, making up for two glaring first-half misses before substitute Ahmed El-Sheikh completed the rout in stoppage time.

Ahly look well equipped to win a third consecutive league title, having collected 22 points from their opening eight matches to move into second spot, four behind leaders Ismaily who played three matches more.

The Red Devils have also extended their unbeaten league run to 49 matches. The last time they lost was in May, 2016 when they slumped to a last-gasp 1-0 defeat by Wadi Degla.

Exciting affair

The first half was an exciting affair, with Enppi's adventurous approach and high backline resulting in numerous goal-scoring chances for Ahly.

Walid Azaro, often criticised by Ahly faithful for his profligacy, continued his habit of wasting clear-cut chances.

He blasted high over with the goal at his mercy intercepting a poor back pass from Enppi's Ali Fawzi after eight minutes and hit the near post with a low shot after a superb pull-back from Ajayi on 32 minutes.

In between, Samir rose at the near post to plant a bullet header into the net following an in-swinging corner.

Ajayi made it 2-0 in the 39th minute in impressive fashion, exchanging passes on the left before hitting an unstoppable curler into the far corner as Enppi continued to pay for leaving huge gaps at the back.

But the visitors still proved dangerous going forward despite their defensive frailties, pulling one back two minutes before the break when Mohsen's side-footed effort went in off the post following a low cross from the right.

Although Enppi looked close to equalising when substitute Mahmoud Kaoud's shot from a cut-back went just wide early in the second half, Ahly quickly re-assumed control to punish their opponents for their woeful defending and make it 3-1 on 54 minutes.

The impressive Ajayi made a darting run down the left and crossed low for Azaro, whose initial shot struck the woodwork before the ball bounced back off his head and into the net for his fifth goal of the season.

Playmaker El-Sheikh put the icing on the cake with a simple finish in stoppage time to give Ahly another win in their quest to win a 40th league title.

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

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