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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Preview: Swiss coach Weiler to make debut in Ahly's Champions League clash

Ahram Online , Friday 13 Sep 2019
Rene Weiler
Ahly's new coach Rene Weiler (C) to make his debut in African Champions League game against Cano Sport (Photo: Ahly's official website)
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Rene Weiler will be eager to avoid any upsets on his debut in charge of Ahly as the Cairo giants meet Equatorial Guinea's Cano Sport away from home in the first leg of the African Champions League second round on Saturday.

The Swiss coach was appointed as Ahly's boss late last month, succeeding Uruguayan Martin Lasarte who was dismissed following the team's Egypt Cup elimination at the hands of Pyramids FC at the last 16 stage.

One of the negative highlights of Lasarte's brief reign was a humiliating 5-0 Champions League defeat by South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-final, which ended Ahly's bid for a record-extending ninth crown last season.

The Red Devils can ill-afford any other upsets as they eye a place in the group stage to continue their bid towards a first Champions League triumph since 2013.

Weiler's appointment was met with skepticism by many of Ahly's supporters, who consider his resume not good enough for the club. However, he is determined to prove doubters wrong.  

"The game's date will be on my birthday and it's an appropriate time to introduce myself to the fans," said Weiler, who will turn 46 years.

"We will do our best to win the Champions League as the club have not won it for a long time."

On paper, Ahly should enjoy a smooth ride to the competition's group stage, given their pedigree compared with Cano Sport's little experience in continental football.

The Equatoguinean club, founded in 2014, are making their maiden Champions League appearance after winning the domestic league title last season.

Ahly will miss Moroccan striker Walid Azaro after he suffered a knee injury while on international duty.

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

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