Ahly coach Weiler (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's Ahly was the better side in Friday's loss to Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel in the African Champions League, according to Swiss coach Rene Weiler who said that the early red card for central defender Ayman Ashraf made his team's mission a difficult one.
"It was a difficult match against a stiff opponent like Etoile Sahel," Weiler said in the press conference after the match.
Ten-man Ahly tasted their first defeat under Weiler after slumping to a 1-0 loss to Etoile du Sahel in their opening group stage game of the continental prestigious tournament in Rades.
"We were performing well and we were the better side despite playing with ten players after just 13 minutes from the game start," the coach explained.
"We faced difficulties in creating opportunities because of Etoile's tightened defence, but at the same time we blocked any chances for our opponents.
"Ahly performed well for 80 minutes of the match," he added.
Although television replays suggested that the straight red card shown for Ahly's Ashraf after a collision with an Etoile forward was a harsh one, Weiler refused to comment on the referee's decisions.
"It would be better not to talk about referee," he said.
"I feel frustrated after the loss as we performed well but finally it is over and now we should concentrate on the coming match," he concluded.
Ahly, who are eyeing their first Champions League title since winning the last of their record eight crowns in 2013, have enjoyed seven straight wins since Weiler took over in the summer, earning plaudits for a series of vivid attacking displays.
The Cairo giants will be hosting Sudan's Al-Hilal in the group stage's second round on 6 December.
Etoile top Group B with three points, on level with Sudanese giants Al-Hilal, who beat Zimbabwe's FC Platinum 2-1 at home on Friday in the other group match.
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