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Monday, 20 August 2018

Egypt giants Ahly stunned by 2-0 loss at Uganda's Kampala

Hatem Maher , Tuesday 15 May 2018
Ahly
File photo of Egypt's Ahly (Ahram)
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Record African Champions League winners Ahly extended their winless run to four matches after suffering a stunning 2-0 defeat at Uganda's Kampala City on Tuesday to continue their poor start to their group-stage campaign.

The last year's runners-up were undone by two late goals from Ibrahim Juma and Timohty Awany (penalty) to fall to the bottom of Group A with only one point from their opening two matches, having been held to a 0-0 draw at home to Tunisia's Esperance in the previous round.

Kampala have three points from two games. Botswana's Township Rollers and Esperance, who have one point each, meet in the other group match later on Tuesday.  

The surprise defeat will increase pressure on beleaguered coach Hossam El-Badry, whose side appeared to be suffering a hangover after winning the Egyptian Premier League title with six matches to spare in March.

They slumped to their first league loss to arch rivals Zamalek in 11 years, exited the Egypt Cup at the quarter-final stage following a 1-0 defeat by unfancied Assiouty Sport and stumbled in their opening two Champions League games.

The Red Devils, who squandered a first-half penalty against Kampala, were also heavily affected by the departure of key playmaker Abdallah El-Said and a string of injuries which hit their regular players.

Kampala keeper Charles Lukwago stood out in the first half, with his timely interceptions and fine saves keeping Ahly at bay.

The visitors were also bereft of ideas as they once again struggled without their injured stars, including Moroccan striker Walid Azaro, Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul and Nigerian deep-lying forward Junior Ajayi.

Lukwago rushed out of his area to thwart winger Mido Gaber, who ghosted behind the defence to break through, after 10 minutes and saved a tame penalty from Walid Soliman 14 minutes later awarded for a handball on Habib Kavuma.

The keeper was also on hand to clear the danger just when a through pass was about to reach Ahly's South African winger Phakamani Mahlambi in the 36th minute.

Ahly created their best chance on the stroke of halftime when a rare swift move released left-back Sabri Rahil, whose cross was parried by Lukwago into the path of Marwan Mohsen but the striker's follow-up effort was blocked by the defence.

The visitors lacked any creativity in a disappointing second half and were also caught out at the back as Kampala pressed hard for an opener.

There was an air of inevitability over what was to happen next as Kampala broke the deadlock in the 74th minute, Juma's powerful drive from distance going past the despairing dive of goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi.

Ahly remained on the back foot after going behind and were further stunned one minute from time when a Kampala forward went down under a soft challenge from midfielder Amr El-Sulaya, with the referee immediately pointing to the spot.

El-Shennawi dived the right way but could not stop Awany's fierce penalty as Kampala grabbed a famous win over their illustrious opponents.

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

 
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