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Ahly 'ready for any opponent' in CAF Champions League semis: El-Badry

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 24 Sep 2017
Egypt's Al Ahly manager Hossam El-Badry celebrates with coaching staff after winning the match. (Photo: Reuters)

After beating Tunisian side Esperance in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals, Ahly is ready to face any opponent in the semi-finals, coach Hossam El-Badry said on Sunday.

"We are preparing well for any opponent, but the time between the quarter-final and semi-final games is short," El-Badry told a television programme after the 2-1 win over Esperance in the second leg of the quarter-finals.

Ahly managed to replicate their 2012 Champions League final scenario against Esperance, overcoming the Tunisians 2-1 in Rades to qualify for the competition's semis following last week's disappointing 2-2 first-leg draw in Alexandria.

The Cairo giants will now face the winner from the match between Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel and Libya's Ahli Tripoli, with the first leg having already ended in a goalless draw at the latter's ground.

"Etoile du Sahel and Ahli Tripoli are big teams and we have to respect them," El-Badry said.

The first leg of the semi-finals will be played next Saturday in Tunisia, while the second leg will be played in Alexandria's Borg El-Arab stadium on 21 October.

Ahly remain Tunisia for semi-final match

Under the guidance of El-Badry, Ahly's technical staff decided to stay in Tunisia until the first leg of the semi-finals to give the players enough time to rest ahead of the game.

"A group of players will rest on Sunday and the remaining ones will undergo physical training here in Tunisia," El-Badry said.

"I will watch Etoile du Sahel against Ahli Tripoli from the stadium, so it's a good decision to stay here in Tunisia."

Thanks to Ahly fans

After the 2-2 draw in Alexandria's Borg El-Arab stadium last week, Ahly fans gathered in the club's headquarter to support the players ahead of the away game.

"I thank the Ahly fans. I am happy to hear their voices in the stands, they have a positive effect on the players," El-Badry said. "I am happy to please all those fans. I thank God for our success.

"The fans attendance was brilliant in the Radis stadium and the club's headquarter stadium El-Tetsh," the coach continued.


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