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Friday, 17 September 2021

Preview: Ahly eyeing remarkable treble in Egypt Cup final

Ahly will be looking to win the Egypt Cup to add to their domestic league and African Champions League triumphs

Ahram Online , Friday 4 Dec 2020
Ahly v El-Geish
File photo of an Egyptian Premier League game between Ahly and Talae El-Geish (Ahram)

Ahly will be eyeing their first treble in 13 years when they meet Talae El-Geish in the Egypt Cup final on Saturday in Alexandria, where a win would cap a perfect season for the mighty Red Devils.

The Cairo giants romped to a fifth straight Egyptian Premier League title in September before winning the long-awaited African Champions League title with a dramatic 2-1 victory over bitter foes Zamalek last week.

A win over El-Geish would also hand them the Egypt Cup and complete a hat-trick of triumphs, a feat they had not achieved since their treble-winning season in 2006/07 when they were managed by iconic Portuguese boss Manuel Jose.

South African coach Pitso Mosimane, who took over in October following the sudden departure of Swiss Rene Weiler, has quickly made his mark, introducing an attractive brand of attacking football and tightening up at the back.

In the cup semi-final against Ittihad, Ahly came from behind and scored a trademark late goal, via a header from defensive midfielder Hamdi Fathi, to reach the final for the first time in three years.

"We have a safe bet on our character. Such a spirit will be our most lethal weapon in the final against El-Geish," said Ahly's football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz.

"This trophy is important for us because we have not won it for some years. Our target is to win any competition we take part in."

Ahly are overwhelming favourites to win a record-extending 37th title but El-Geish, who are eyeing their first ever triumph, are no pushovers, given their improvement under coach Tarek El-Ashri.

They outplayed illustrious opponents Zamalek in the semi-final, beating them 3-1 after extra time and spurning several goal-scoring chances after producing a superb display.

However, the last time Ahly and El-Geish met, in the final matchday of last season's domestic league competition, Ahly claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory.

El-Geish have an almost fully fit squad while Ahly are still missing Malian midfielder Aliou Dieg and veteran winger Walid Soliman after they contracted COVID-19 before the Champions League final.

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