Ahly ease to Egypt Cup final in Soares debut to set up Zamalek clash

Ahram Online , Saturday 2 Jul 2022

Ahly eased past second-division side Petrojet 2-0 to reach the final of an Egypt Cup edition that was delayed from last season, give new coach Ricardo Soares a winning start and set up a clash against Cairo rivals Zamalek.

Ahly 2-0 Petrojet
Ahly s players celebrate their opening goal against Petrojet (Photo: the club s official Facebook page)

An early goal from playmaker Magdi Afsha and a second-half header from defender Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, back to action after recovering from an injury, gave a workmanlike Ahly side a much-needed win in Soares' debut.

Ahly needed a response after suffering a stunning 3-2 Egyptian Premier League loss to Smouha on Wednesday but they laboured for much of a low-quality game at Cairo's International Stadium.

They still did enough to win though, giving Soares a chance to win his first trophy at the helm when Ahly meet perennial rivals Zamalek in the final on 21 July. The 47-year-old was named as the Red Devils' boss on Thursday, replacing South African Pitso Mosimane.

A fixture congestion that disrupted last season means that both Ahly and Zamalek are playing simultaneous Egypt Cup editions. Both sides reached the last 16 of the ongoing 2021-22 edition.

Zamalek will be eyeing a domestic double after winning the Premier League last season. Ahly are seeking to add an Egypt Cup triumph to the Champions League title they clinched last term.

Afsha gave Ahly an eighth-minute lead against Petrojet when he neatly controlled an Ali Maaloul cross in the area and sent a superb curler into the corner of the net.

Ahly needlessly eased off after taking the lead and Petrojet had a chance to equalise on the stroke of halftime when they were awarded a penalty for a foul committed by right-back Mohamed Hani, only for keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi to save Mostafa El-Gamal's tame effort.

In the second half, Ahly's off-form striker Mohamed Sherif missed a sitter but Abdel-Moneim made amends on 72 minutes, meeting Maaloul's inswinging corner at the near post with a glancing header that nestled into the far corner.

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