Ahly Coach Pitso Mosimane admitted his side produced a tame display against Sudanese giants Al-Merreikh 2-2 on Saturday in the African Champions League but the draw is a fair result between the two sides.
The Cairo giants have booked their place in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals with one match to spare, as they are now second with eight points, five points behind Tanzanian side Simba.
The defending champions are now expecting a tough opponent in the quarter-finals, with Tunisia's Esperance and South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns ensuring their progress as winners of their respective group, while Morocco's Wydad are also likely to finish on top.
"No team from the qualified teams to quarterfinals hope to face Ahly in the coming round," Mosimane told the post game's press conference.
"You can predict who will win the title based on the performance only," he added.
Two first-half goals from Ramadan Agab and Saifeldin Malik put Merreikh on the verge of claiming a famous win but Ahly vastly improved after the break to restore parity, thanks to a penalty from Badr Benoun and a late header from Yasser Ibrahim.
"Ahly played a big game against Al-Merreikh but we failed to capitalize on our chances. So the draw is fair enough for the two sides," the Ahly coach said.
"We made a lot of mistakes and it affected us a lot especially during the first half and that's why I had to make a lot of subsitutes in the second half,"
"We achieved our target by qualifying for the quarterfinals despite the loss to Simba but we managed to beat Vita Club of DR Congo to return the right way," Mosimane said.
"Ahly is a big team with 9 CAF Champions League titles and we qualified today to the last eight to continue our title defending campaign," the South African coach Mosimane added.
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