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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Ahly sack coach Lasarte after Egypt Cup elimination

Hatem Maher , Sunday 18 Aug 2019
Martin Lasarte
Martin Lasarte (Photo: Ahly's official website)
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League champions Ahly dismissed coach Martin Lasarte on Sunday after the team exited the Egypt Cup at the hands of Pyramids FC a day earlier, the Cairo giants said.

Ahly said in a statement on their official website that the decision was taken after the club conducted an end-of-the-season review, which apparently found that Lasarte had not met the minimal threshold of success.

"The planning committee has tasked [Lasarte's assistant] Mohamed Youssef with leading the first team until a new foreign coach is appointed," the statement read.

Although the Uruguayan boss helped Ahly bridge an eight-point gap with perennial rivals Zamalek to wrap up the league title for the fourth straight season last month, he still paid the price of some uninspiring displays that did not go down well with the team's demanding supporters.

Pyramids struck in the second half to knock Ahly out of the Egypt Cup round of 16 with a 1-0 victory, marking their fourth straight win over their illustrious opponents.

Lasarte's tenure lasted for just eight months and, ironically, his debut also ended in a 2-1 loss to Pyramids last January.

He survived what looked like an imminent sacking when Ahly suffered a humiliating 5-0 loss to South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns in the African Champions League quarters in April and looked to have revived his chances of staying on when the Red Devils won the league.

Asked by a reporter over Ahly's inability to win any of their high-profile matches this season, apart from a 1-0 victory over Zamalek on the final day of the season, Lasarte reacted furiously.

"What was the end result, can you say who eventually won the league?" he yelled.

When the "Ahly" answer rang out in the conference hall, he replied: "Ciao", before storming out of the room.

Despite Lasarte's emotional response, a return of only one title out of possible three is meager by Ahly's standards and his departure was inevitable.

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