Ahly confident of Confederation Cup semis place despite Sahel defeat

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 9 Aug 2015

Ahly did their best during the match against Tunisia’s Etoile Sahel, assistant coach says

Ahly players
Ahly players (Photo :Ahmed Hassan)

After Ahly lost 1-0 to Etoile Sahel in Tunisia on Saturday, the club's assistant coach Ahmed Ayoub has said that the result won't affect the players' run to book a place in the CAF Confederation Cup semifinals.

A dubious first-half penalty gave Tunisia’s Etoile Sahel a 1-0 home victory over title-holders Ahly to condemn the Egyptian giants to their first defeat in Group A of the African Confederation Cup on Saturday.

Youssef Mouihbi converted a 26th-minute spot kick which was controversially awarded when striker Baghdad Bounedjah theatrically fell in the penalty area under an apparent challenge from Ahly’s central defender Mohamed Naguib.

"Ahly's players lost more score chances during the Etoile Sahel game which could have changed the game's result," Ayoub told reporters after the game.

"Ahly played a good game until the referee announced a penalty kick to the Tunisian side," he said.

"The penalty kick forced Ahly players to attack Etoile Sahel which risked the defence lines," the assistant coach added.

Ahly, who became the first Egyptian side to win Africa’s secondary club competition when they defeated Ivory Coast’s Sewe Sport in a two-legged final last year, are now second in the group with seven points after being overtaken at the top by Etoile, who have collected nine points over four matches.

They will visit Tunisia’s Esperance, on zero points, and hosts Stade Malien, on four, who will meet in the other group game on Sunday, in their final two matches.

"This loss won't affect the team's way to the semifinal of the tournament," said Ayoub.

"I am confident Ahly's players will book a place in the semifinals through Esperance and Stade Malien games," the Ahly tactician concluded.

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