Ahly coach hails players, says league hopes still alive

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 2 Jun 2015

Ahly's victory over Dakhlya is a morale boost ahead of the Red Devils' upcoming Confederation Cup test

Ahly's coach Fathi Mabrouk (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Ahly coach Fathi Mabrouk says that the team’s hopes of winning the Egyptian title are still alive after Monday's precious league win over Dakhlya.

"We didn't lose hope of winning the title. The trophy is the main target of all of us in Ahly," Mabrouk said at a press conference after the match.

Attacking duo Emad Meteb and Saladin Said came off the bench to strike late and give Ahly a precious 2-0 win over Dakhlya, keeping alive the Reds' slim hopes of retaining the Egyptian Premier League title.

"The title race is not over yet, especially after our victory and Zamalek’s draw," Mabrouk said.

"We faced a defensive-minded team but we were determined to win even if it came late. We will do our best to keep the title with Ahly this season," the coach of the title-holding team added.  

The Red Devils have narrowed the gap with their arch-rivals and current league leaders Zamalek, who stumbled after a 1-1 draw with Gouna earlier on Monday.

Ahly have moved up into second place, sharing the spoils with ENPPI who are on 61 points, with the latter enjoying a much better goal difference. Zamalek are nine points ahead of the two teams, and they have a game in hand.

"I want to thank all my players for their extraordinary efforts," said Mabrouk.

"Despite missing some key players in recent matches due to injuries or suspension we managed to deliver good results, even though we played too many games in a limited time," he added.

Monday's victory is a massive morale boost for Ahly ahead of the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup round of 16 game against Club Africain next week.

The Cairo giants are scheduled to face Tunisian side Club Africain on 6 June, after a first leg result of 2-1 for title-holders Ahly.

"The victory was important to raise the players' spirits ahead of Tunisia trip," football director Wael Gomaa said after the match.

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