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Friday, 18 June 2021

'Show some mercy', Ahly fans sarcastically plead with Bayern Munich

Ahly's supporters are known for being very demanding, but facing Bayern Munich requires another approach

Hatem Maher , Friday 5 Feb 2021
Ahly v Bayern
File photo of Ahly's last meeting with Bayern Munich in 2012, which the German giants won 2-1 following a late goal from Ivica Olic
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Ahly fans take pride from the exploits of their team in Africa. But when it comes to meeting Bayern Munich, most are resigned to an expected crushing defeat that few would have complaints of.

The Red Devils meet European champions Bayern in a mouthwatering clash in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final on Monday in Qatar, marking the first ever competitive game between Ahly and a European team.

Ahly's supporters are known for being very demanding. They don't even tolerate minor stumbles and, back home, they treat any draw like a defeat.

But since the team claimed a narrow 1-0 victory over Qatar's Al Duhail in the Club World Cup quarters, many have said that anything less than an 8-2 loss would be acceptable, in a sarcastic reference to how Barcelona were hammered when they met a mighty Bayern side in last season's European Champions League.

"The problem with Bayern is that they never show any mercy. Whenever they score a goal, they immediately look for another. They don't ease off," said one Ahly fan on Facebook.

"Have some mercy on us, please!"

Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane, in a typical down-to-earth approach, sought to took pressure off the shoulders of his players by asking them to "have fun" against Bayern. But some of the players, including winger Taher Mohamed Taher, insisted they would fight hard to reach the final.

"We challenge you to come without Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry, Manuel Neuer and Kingsley Coman and defeat us. You won't do that, simply because you are afraid," one fan quipped.

Another supporter suggested that Ahly play with a 5-5-0 formation that would feature only defenders and defensive midfielders to stifle the expected waves of Bayern attacks.

In a witty Twitter exchange, Bayern's Arabic account reminded Ahly of their meeting's date with a wink emoji, to which Ahly replied: "Bring your best ever team that won the European Cup three consecutive times in the 1970s."
 

But despite a flurry of jokes on internet, other Ahly fans were still annoyed that the prospects of their beloved teams are played down.

"We are making fun of ourselves and this is not appropriate. Do not forget that we are the African Club of the Century," one fan said.

"Never underestimate us!"

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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