Ahly happy with win over Coffee despite weak showing

Eslam Omar, Monday 9 Apr 2012

Red Castle blames poor performance on their fans’ absence in round 32 of CAF Champions League

Fabio Junior of Egypt's Al Ahly (L) fights for the ball with Danial Gabry of Ethiopian Coffee FC during their CAF Champions League soccer match at the Military Stadium in Cairo (Photo: REuters)

Ahly football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz has expressed his satisfaction over Sunday’s 3-0 home win against Ethiopian Coffee in round 32 of the CAF Champions League despite a relatively poor performance.

"We played the match without key players like wingers Ahmed Fathi and Sayed Moawad and still managed to keep the upper hand," Abdel-Hafiz said.

The Egyptian champions scored an early goal by Brazilian striker Fabio Junior in the 7th minute before star midfielder Mohamed Abou-Treika netted twice in the second half, in the 60th minute from a penalty and the 77th minute from a fine finish to an attack made by Junior.

Playing their first official game on home soil but behind closed doors, the Red Devils booked their place in round 16 of Africa's most prestigious tournament, waiting for the winner of the tie between Mali’s Stade Malien de Bamako and Tonnerre FC of Benin.

“Ahly played in really bad conditions. In the absence of our fans, we felt like we were playing a friendly game,” the reds' star midfielder Mohamed Barakat said.

Authorities insisted on holding the match without fans to avoid any clashes as the country is still mourning the more than 70 fans killed in the 1 February disaster in Port Said.

"We got our second wind in the second half after the technical staff spoke to us in the break," said winger Ahmed Shedid Qinawi.

The team are celebrating the birthday of their Portuguese coach Manuel Jose, who is flying to his home country for vacation on Monday night.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter:@AO Sports)

Short link: