Ahly end disappointing season with 4-0 win as Soares set to leave

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Aug 2022

A youthful-looking Ahly side ended a disappointing season, in which they finished third, with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Ceramica Cleopatra in their final Egyptian Premier League game on Tuesday, with coach Ricardo Soares expected to be dismissed.



Young striker Ahmed Gharib opened the scoring on 35 minutes when he ran onto a threaded pass from Ahmed Abdel-Kader to break clear and beat the keeper at his near post with a fine low shot with the outside of his foot.

The 20-year-old also won a penalty which defender Rami Rabia converted to double Ahly's lead six minutes past the hour mark.

He was tripped by Ceramica Cleopatra substitute Kwame Bonsu, with the Ghanaian receiving a straight red card for the last-man foul after a VAR review.

Ahly ran riot after Ceramica Cleopatra went a man down, with diminutive winger Luis Miquissone making it 3-0 on 72 minutes when a deft pass sent him clear to round the keeper and slot home from a tight angle.

The Mozambican is expected to leave after the end of the season, having failed to prove his worth since his arrival from Tanzania's Simba last summer.

Substitute Raafat Khalil, another youngster, scored immediately after coming on with a fine finish from a narrow angle to complete the rout with 12 minutes remaining.

Before kick-off, Ahly's players wore shirts emblazoned with the slogan "thank you, magician", in reference to veteran winger Walid Soliman, who had announced that he would hang up his boots after the end of the season.

The fans also unfurled a banner bearing Soliman's picture in a gesture of tribute to the 37-year-old, who won almost two dozen titles with Ahly including six Premier League titles and four Champions League accolades.

Widespread reports suggested that Ahly had already informed Soares that he would no longer carry on as the team's boss despite arriving just two months ago.

The Portuguese failed to spark a revival after winning only nine matches out of 17, drawing five and losing three times.

However, he could be excused for having to play with youngsters and fringe players in the latter stages of the season to comply with a board decision to continue the competition with a weakened side after Ahly had lost hope of competing for the title.

Ahly finished third in the table with 70 points, one behind second-placed Pyramids FC, who play their final game later on Tuesday. It is the first time the Red Devils have finished out of the top two in 30 years.

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