Ahly coach praises players for Champions League victory

Mahmoud Elassal, Sunday 18 Nov 2012

Hossam El-Badry thanks his players for their performance in 2-1 win over Esperance in the CAF Champions League final on Saturday

Egypt's Ahli Players celebrate winning their African Champions League (CAF) after their final soccer match against Tunisia's Esperance Sportive de Tunis at the Rades stadium in Tunis (Photo: Reuters)

Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry has expressed his delight at winning the 2012 CAF Champions League title after beating Esperance de Tunis on Saturday.

"I'm happy to lift the cup,  especially because it took place outside Egypt here in Tunisia," El-Badry told reporters after the game.

"I hoped to win the trophy here in Tunisia because I have a great history with this stadium," he added.

A goal from forward Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ and a superb piece of skill from Walid Soliman helped the Cairo giants defy the odds to win a record-extending seventh Champions League title after beating Esperance 2-1 in Tunis for a 3-2 aggregate victory on Saturday.

Defending champions Esperance were favourites to retain their title after holding Ahly to a 1-1 draw in Alexandria two weeks ago but they were outplayed.

"I thank my players for their efforts over the past months despite the Egyptian Premier League suspension.

"We wanted this trophy so much to offer it to the families and souls of the Port Said martyrs," the 52-year-old said.

Ahly dominated Esperance throughout the game and silenced around 35,000 fans at the Rades Stadium.

"Personally I enjoyed the game, especially in the first half when Ahly players were on top form.

"I don't pay attention to criticism, my response always comes on the pitch as I have confidence in my players," El-Badry said.

El-Badry also rubbished reports that Ahly icon Mohamed Abou-Treika would retire from football after the final.

"I held a meeting with Abou-Treika and he said he would not be retiring," El-Badry said.

Egypt’s most successful club, Ahly, will set a world record when they make a fourth appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup next month after snatching the CAF Champions League title.

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