Egypt's Ahly atone for CL opening home draw with 2-0 win at Cotonsport

Omar Zaazou , Tuesday 23 May 2017

Moemen Zakareya scored a goal and set up another as Ahly beat Cotonsport 2-0 away from home

Ahly defeat Cameroon's Cotonsport 2-0 in Tuesday's African Champions League clash (Ahram)

Egypt's Ahly made up for their opening goalless home draw with Zambia's Zanaco in the CAF Champions League group-stage opener, defeating Cameroon's Cotonsport 2-0 at Stade Omnisport Roumdé Adjia in Garoua  on Tuesday.

Early goals from Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi and Moemen Zakareya sealed all three points for the Reds, who could have easily added to their tally if it wasn't for some sloppy finishing from their attackers.

Ahly now top Group D on four points, one ahead of Morocco's Wydad Casablanca who take on Zanaco on Wednesday.

Ahly settle the game in the first half

Ahly needed just 11 minutes to take the lead, when experienced playmaker Abdallah El-Said cut inside from the left before playing a clever through ball into the area for the onrushing Zakareya, who set up Ajayi for a simple tap-in from six-yards.

It was just three minutes later when Hossam El-Badry's men doubled their lead, with Zakareya – who was initially deployed on the right – turning scorer this time.

With striker Souleymane Coulibaly attempting to press Coton keeper Ibrahima Daouda following a back-pass from a defender, the latter could only manage to keep the ball away from the Ivorian.

But a typically onrushing Zakareya pounced on to reach the ball and round the keeper before slotting into an empty net for Ahly's second of the evening.

Ahly's tempo lowered after going two-nil, with the hosts missing the target twice in the space of just two minutes through strikes from Paul Mvondo and Jean-Joseph Kombous.

But the eight-time African champions could have made it easily 3-0 in the 35th minute when Coulibaly missed from point-blank range with the goal at his mercy following Zakareya's accurate cross from the right.

Coton came close on the stroke of half-time when a free kick from Souleymanou Moussa narrowly missed the target before the ref blew the half-time whistle.

Ahly sat deeper in the second half as manager El-Badry looked clearly determined to close down spaces at the back and play on the break.

With Coton being afforded time on the ball, the Cameroonians failed to pose real threat on Ahly's goal – with the majority of their attacks easily cleared away by the visiting side's defense.

Ahly, meanwhile, could have easily added to their tally, when Ajayi was sent through on goal before being denied by keeper Daouda in the 74th minute.

Substitute Mido Gaber also came close two minutes later after a through-on-goal Zakareya was thwarted by the keeper, only for the former to see a goal-line clearance from a Coton defender prevent him from scoring.   

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