Ahly players celebrate the 4-0 victory over Ismaily in the Egyptian Premier League (Photo: Ahly s official website)
Newly signed South African forward Percy Tau scored a double and showed moments of individual brilliance in his Ahly debut as the Red Devils crushed their foes 4-0 in their opening Egyptian Premier League clash in Alexandria.
The Cairo giants produced a vibrant offensive display that resulted in their biggest victory over Ismaily in 15 years, avenging 1-1 draw in August down the stretch in the last season, which partly cost them the title.
“Ahly’s players are working hard to regain the Egyptian Premier League title this season,” midfielder Ammar Hamdi, 22, was quoted as saying on the club’s official website after the big victory over Ismaily.
Hamdi returned to the Red Devils last summer after finishing his spell being loaned out to Ittihad of Alexandria and has made an impact in his first official appearance with the team during the Ismaliy clash.
“I am happy with the fans’ support, and I hope to meet their expectations,” he stressed.
“All the players are doing their best to secure a victory in every game so we can snatch the lead as well as regain the league title that we lost last season,” the Olympic team player said.
Meanwhile, Ahly’s assistant coach Sami Komsan confirmed that it was important for the team to start the season strong by beating a big team like Ismaily.
“All the players were completely focused during the game as losing the last title did not sit well with the team. So, the players decided to make a fine start of the new season and I thank them for their performance as well as for winning big against Ismaily,” Komsan told a television programme after the game.
The Red Devils faced a tough reaction from the club’s supporters after recently losing two domestic titles — the Egyptian League and Super Cup.
“We suffered much criticism in the last season despite winning the continental title, so we decided to focus at the beginning of the league to regain the trust of our fans,” Komsan added.
Ahly’s winger Ahmed Abdel-Kader, 22, back from a fruitful loan spell with Smouha, has expressed his satisfaction with the team’s strong start, confirming that he will do his best to meet the club and fans expectations.
Abdel-Kader came on as a substitute 17 minutes before the final whistle and put the icing on the cake with a goal at the 87th minute, securing a 4-0 lead for the Reds.
“I am happy with my start with the team, and I hope to maintain the same performance in future games,” Abdel-Kader was quoted as saying on the club’s official website after the game.
“I thank all my teammates for helping me on and off the pitch, especially the senior players who always instruct the youngest and newly signed players,” the Olympic team international added.
The Red Devils have moved to the top of the table with three points, ahead of several other teams due to the goal difference, including Cairo rivals and title holders Zamalek.
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