Football Soccer - African Champions League - Egypt's Al Ahly v Zambia's ZESCO - Army Stadium, Suez, Egypt - 12/8/2016 - Hossam Ghaly, captain of Egypt's Al Ahly, reacts after Jesse Were of Zambia's ZESCO scored the team's second goal. (REUTERS)
Ahly have imposed heavy fines on club players after Friday's Champions League draw, while Dutch coach Martin Jol blamed luck and fatigue for the result.
Veteran striker Emad Meteb struck late as Ahly salvaged a 2-2 draw at home to Zambia's ZESCO United, a result that is unlikely to help them avert a crushing blow in the African Champions League.
"Players will be heavily fined after the draw. The fines will be exceptional as it will be directly a deduction from the contracts as we aim to correct our path and return to winning ways in the coming period," Ahly's football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz told the club's official website.
The draw added to the woes of the record eight-time winners, Ahly, who were looking to recover from a bitter 3-1 loss to Cairo rivals Zamalek in the Egypt Cup final last Monday.
"We dominated the match and became better in the second half, but finally we weren’t lucky enough," Ahly's under fire coach Marti Jol said in the press conference after the match.
"The defence's performance wasn't perfect and we were suffering from fatigue," he said.
"We will stick with hope until the last game and I will fight with my players to proceed to the final rounds of the Champions League," the former Tottenham and Ajax coach added.
Ahly, who won only once and lost twice in five Group A matches, lie third with five points, three behind leaders ZESCO, with one match to spare.
Should Morocco's Wydad Casablanca, who have seven points, beat Ivorian side ASEC (four points) Sunday, Ahly will be officially eliminated from Africa's elite club competition.
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