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Ahly coach blames Ekramy for 2nd African loss, goalkeeper apologises

Ahly are at the bottom of the African Champions League table with no points

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Jun 2016
Sherif Ekramy goalkeeper of Egypt's Al-Ahly reacts during their African Super Cup soccer match against Algeria's Entente Setif at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida February 21, 2015 (Reuters)

Ahly’s Dutch coach Martin Jol has blamed the club's goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy for the team’s Tuesday 2-1 loss to Ivory Coast's ASEC Mimosas in the second round of the African Champions league group stage.

"Ekramy failed to do his job. ASEC scored from two clear chances," Jol said in the press conference after the match.

"Goalkeeping is one of the positions that we need to reinforce," the former Tottenham and Ajax coach added.

A howler by under-fire goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy allowed ASEC Mimosas to hand the Red Devils a second successive Champions League loss.

The 32-year-old guardian let a header slip out of his grasp and Armand Niamke stabbed home with 10 minutes remaining as ASEC snatched a 2-1 victory to make up for their opening loss at home to Wydad Casablanca in Group A.

Tuesday's defeat marks Ahly's worst start to a group-stage campaign since they suffered two opening defeats in 2002; having slumped to another surprise 3-2 defeat at Zambia's ZESCO United earlier this month.

The Reds are at the bottom of the group with no points, with ASEC on three.

"The fans' presence was a positive thing and they could have made the difference today but we dealt an early goal in the first half," Jol said about the defeat.

"It was difficult to think of winning after receiving such a goal (the second one).

"We aim to deliver better performances in the coming period and also to work hard especially as we were negatively affected by the absence of injured key players in recent matches," the coach concluded.

Under-fire keeper apologises

Ahly celebrated their ninth Egyptian league title in 10 seasons when they beat Ismaily 2-1 last Saturday, with the club’s fans venting their anger on Ekramy for recent league's loss to Masry and the continental defeat to Zambia's ZESCO United.

"I apologise to Ahly fans for my fault against ASEC. I won't hide or escape from my responsibility," Ekramy declared via his Twitter account after Tuesday's match.

"I appreciate how the fans are sad, but there is still a hope of reaching the semi final.

"Apology and taking responsibility is not a shame. I used to walk with my head held high whenever the criticisms increased. That is what we learned at Ahly," the international goalkeeper added.

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