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Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Ahly should remain cautious despite first-leg advantage, says assistant coach

Ahmad Hassan, Friday 2 Nov 2018
Soccer Football - African Champions League Final - First Leg - Al Ahly vs Esperance Sportive de Tunis - Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt - November 2, 2018 Al Ahly's Walid Soliman celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates REUTERS

Ahly should not be carried away by their 3-1 first-leg victory over Tunisia's Esperance in the African Champions League final, assistant coach Mohamed Youssef said.

The record-eight time winners will be favourites to win a ninth crown after two penalties from winger Walid Soliman gave them a comfortable first-leg advantage at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium on Friday.

However, with Esperance scoring an away goal via another penalty from Youcef Belaili, Ahly's assistant coach Youssef insisted that what his team have achieved is no more than a good result.

"The win is a good one but the final is 180 minutes. We won the first leg, nothing more and there is a second leg. I wish we had avoided conceding a goal," the 48-year-old, who was the head coach when Ahly won the last of their eight Champions League titles in 2013, told beIN Sports after the game.

Ahly lost right-back Ahmed Fathi to injury in the first half while Esperance will have to do without key players Chamseddine Dhaouadi and Franck Kom in the second leg after they picked up second yellow cards.

“Ahmed Fathi had some muscular pain but I think he will be okay for the second leg. We have to be well prepared as the mission won’t be easy in Rades,” Youssef added.

The second leg takes place in Rades, Tunis next Friday.

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