Ahly playmaker Abdallah El-Said aiming towards goal (Photo: Ahram)
Ahly gave newly-appointed manager Hossam El-Badry a winning start after beating bitter rivals Ismaily 1-0 in the Egyptian league opening week at Cairo's Petrosport Stadium on Saturday.
The sole goal of the game was scored by midfielder Abdallah El-Said in the 78th minute to give defending champions Ahly their first three points of the campaign.
El-Badry, who returns for a third stint as Ahly head coach, was appointed late in August in charge of the Cairo giants – succeeding Dutch manager Martin Jol at the helm.
Ahly remained in control of the majority of a dreary first half, which saw them test keeper Mohamed Awad after just eight minutes through lone striker Amr Gamal from inside the box.
Despite dictating play against an Ismaily side who looked hugely open, Ahly seemed only restricted to long-range shots from midfielder Amr El-Sulaya and winger Walid Soliman – who usually drifted into the center of the pitch.
Despite flashes of brilliance mainly coming from playmaker El-Said whose penetrative through-balls looked dangerous, Ahly still failed to pose much threat in the final third throughout the first half.
Just two minutes after the restart, Soliman saw a strike from near the edge of the area go wide, as Ahly continued to rely on shots from outside the box.
Ahly's most dangerous chance came three minutes later when defender Mohamed Naguib missed the target from inside the six-yard box following a header from Soliman into the center-half's direction.
El-Said was then unlucky to see an effort from inside the area from Moemen Zakareya's cross bounce off the woodwork, but it was minutes later when the ex-Ismaily man managed to give Ahly the lead from the spot.
Midfielder Mahmoud Metwali was adjudged by the ref to have fouled striker Gamal inside the area as the official was quick to point to the spot amid protests from Ismaily.
And El-Said, arguably his side's best performer on the night, made no mistake sending the keeper the wrong way to score what then proved to be the winner.
Zakareya could have made it two five minutes from regular time after volleying an El-Said corner towards goal from inside the area but keeper Awad was there to ensure his side conceded only a single goal on the night.
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