Egyptian champions Ahly are facing a goalkeeping crisis after the recent injury of regular goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at DR Congo's Vita Club in the African Champions League group stage.
The Reds were unfortunate to lose El-Shennawi, who was taken off on 24 minutes after apparently spraining his ankle, with third-choice goalie Ali Lotfi replacing him due to the injury of second choice goalie Sherif Ekramy.
“El-Shennawi underwent scans late on Saturday in DR Congo that revealed he bruised his ankle during the match,” Ahly said in a statement via its official website Sunday morning.
“Once the team returns to Cairo, we will announce how long the player will remain on the sidelines,” the statement added.
El-Shennawi’s injury adds more woes for Ahly’s coach Martin Lasarte, who is already missing the services of veteran keeper Ekramy at least for three weeks due to a calf injury.
After the defeat in their penultimate Group D match, Ahly are second with seven points, one point behind leaders JS Saoura of Algeria, who defeated fourth-placed Simba 2-0 late on Saturday, while Vita Club are on level with the Cairo giants.
Ahly, who lost in the final the past two seasons, need to beat Saoura at home on Saturday in their final group-stage encounter to ensure their progress to the knockout phase.
With limited hopes of seeing El-Shennawi between the sticks against Saoura, Ahly need to prepare a substitute keeper from the ordinary squad to be an alternative for the only available choice, Ali Lotfy.
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