Collective faults led to Ahly's loss to Pyramids but title race still open: Lasarte

Ahram Online , Saturday 5 Jan 2019

File Photo: Uruguayan coach Martin Lasarte (Photo: Reuters)

Ahly's coach Martin Lasarte has blamed collective errors for Friday's 2-1 league loss to rivals Pyramids FC, saying that there is time for improvement and the title race is still open.

Ahly took a first-half lead via a header from Walid Azaro, but Pyramids newly-signed star playmaker Abdallah El-Said, an ex-Ahly player, whipped in a free-kick, which Mohamed Farouk headed home early in the second period, before scoring himself with a volley to seal the win.

"We did many faults in the first 11 minutes of the second half and that resulted in the loss," the newly appointed Lasarte said in the press conference after the match.

"We tried to dominate the match but we couldn't do that. The loss won't affect our league campaign negatively. Title race is still open.

"We should be patient. Performance will be better by the return of our injured players and also besides our newcomers," he added.

Pyramids' win spoiled the debut of the Uruguayan coach Lasarte, who admitted his side needed to beef up their defence if they are to get back on track as their hopes of winning a fourth successive league title took a fresh blow.

"Everyone was involved in the faults. We will work to amend these mistakes in the coming period. Ahly is a big team. We need to sign a number of players in midfield and defence as we have injured players at these positions.

"We will work hard to avoid losing further points in the coming matches," the coach concluded.

Ahly have so far made four January signings, including Huddersfield's winger Ramadan Sobhi who arrived on loan and played against Pyramids. However, they have yet to sign any defenders.

Pyramids, who were bought by then Saudi sports chief Turki Al-Sheikh in the close season, closed the gap on leaders Zamalek to five points, but the latter can regain their eight-point advantage on top if they beat Ittihad of Alexandria on Saturday.

Ahly lie sixth on 24 points, 14 adrift of Zamalek, but they still have two games in hand.

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