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Monday, 08 March 2021

Ahly return to winning ways before Cairo derby

Ahly lead the Egyptian Premier League table with 56 points, 18 points away from second placed Zamalek

Mahmoud Sheleib , Tuesday 18 Aug 2020
Ahly
Angolan winger Geraldo celebrates after scoring Ahly's first goal against Aswan (Photo: EFA)
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Defending champions Ahly returned to winning ways on Monday with a 3-0 win over struggling Aswan to boost their confidence before next weekend's Cairo derby against Zamalek.

Angolan winger Geraldo broke the deadlock as early as the 9th minute while veteran forward Walid Soliman and Aliou Badji secured the points of the game late in the second half on minutes 83 and 94 respectively.

The victory extends Ahly's unbeaten run this season as they claimed their 18th victory in 20 games and bring back some calm to the Red Devils who had a frustrating week.

A week that saw them drop rare points against El-Entag El-Harby (1-1) and off the pitch controversies including a shocking rejection from star winger Ramadan Sobhi to extend his stay and disciplinary decision to axe departing keeper Sherif Ekrami for social media comments.

Ahly had a promising start of the game and looked determined to quickly score an opening goal. They eventually got what they deserved after only nine minutes when an excellent cross by Mohamed "Afsha" Magdi was met by Geraldo to head home from point blank to make amend for an earlier miss.

The Cairo giants seemed the better side but a string of injuries made things difficult for Ahly as the game progressed.

Defender Mahmoud Metwalli left in tears after 23 minutes with a knee injury while winger Ahmed El Sheikh had also to leave just before the break with a foot injury.

The first half became less entertaining and lacked creativity.

However both sides struck the woodwork in the first half. Aswan's forward Mostafa El-Badry latched onto a long ball to break the offside trap and send the ball past keeper Mohamed El Shennawy only to be denied by the post. At the other end Afsha's shot struck both uprights following an excellent combination with Ahmed Fathi and Amr El-Sulaya.

After the interval Aswan upped their game though they still barely created any danger.

But with their visitors moving forward in an attempt to get the equalizer, Ahly exploited their spaces at the back.

Second half substitute Walid Soliman put the game beyond doubt with a powerful strike from inside the box while Senegalese striker Badji completed the rout with a powerful shot just from the edge of the area after being set up by an excellent back heel from El Sulaya.

Just before the end of the game Geraldo has been limped off with a muscle strain to add to Ahly's injury woes before next Saturday clash against Zamalek.

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