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Ahly coach expected Al-Merrikh win, hails strong Group stage start

Title holders Ahly kicked of the Group stage of the prestigious competition on a high note, securing a convincing 3-0 victory over Sudanese giants Al-Merrikh at Cairo Stadium on Tuesday

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 17 Feb 2021
Pitso Mosimane
Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane taken on February 16,2021.
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Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has hailed his team’s perfect start at the African Champions League group-stage campaign after Tuesday’s big win over Sudan’s Al-Merrikh, refusing the comparison between different generations of Ahly players.

Title holders Ahly kicked of the Group stage of the prestigious competition on a high note, securing a convincing 3-0 victory over Sudanese giants Al-Merrikh at Cairo Stadium on Tuesday.

“The win was expected. We made a strong start of the Group Stage with three goals and three points. The victory came a little bit late, but finally we got it and dominated the game against a difficult opponent who deployed a solid defensive strategy,” the South African coach Mosimane said in the press conference after the match.

“We shouldn’t forget that we missed five of our key players in the game due to injuries and we gave the chance for others to play,” he added.

Although Ahly could not open the scoring in the first half they completely dominated, they made amends in the second to send an early warning to their Group A competitors.

Ahly, who won the Champions League for a record-extending ninth time last season with a remarkable 2-1 victory over Cairo foes Zamalek, moved to the top of their group, on level with Tanzania’s Simba, who beat Vita Club 1-0 last Friday.

Mosimane heaped praise on skipper and goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy and also Congolese forward Walter Bwalya who finally opened his Ahly account on his ninth appearance after joining in January.

“I am very happy that Bwalya overcame the bad luck that he faced since joining the team. We delivered a consistent performance throughout the whole game. Al-Merrikh had chances to score but El-Shenawy delivered an outstanding performance,” the Ahly coach explained.

“We lost the services of some players recently due to the dense schedule since the Club World Cup. I should be fair with all players and all players have the chance to play as we will be playing many games in the coming period.”

“Ahead of the Al-Merrikh game, I warned my players to avoid being in a hurry during the match. The current generation of players plays great collective football and we shouldn’t compare them with previous generations,” the coach concluded.

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