Tunisian US Monastir vows to ‘play with confidence’ if they face Ahly in Champions League

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 10 Aug 2022

Tunisian side US Monastir’s has vowed "to play with confidence" if they have to face the ten-time African champions Ahly in the African Champions League round of 32, as they make their first-ever appearance in the prestigious continental tournament.



According to the draw of the prestigious tournament, last year's runners-up Ahly were given a bye into the second preliminary round.

The will meet the winners of the first-round clash between US Monastir  and APR Rwanda for a place in the group stage.

“We preferred to avoid facing Ahly, the biggest team in Africa, but this is the draw and we will try to play with confidence,” Tarek Sayadi, the spokesman of the Tunisian side, told the Egyptian El-Mehwar TV channel.

“The Tunisian league is currently suspended and we are currently preparing for the new season with a new technical staff and also a host of new signings. We hope we will be ready for the first preliminary round to beat APR Rwanda and face Ahly in the round of 32,”  Sayadi said.

Last year, US Monastir, who finished as runners-up in the Tunisian league last season, were eliminated in the African Confederation Cup play-offs after losing to Moroccan side Raja 6-5 on penalties.

Ahly missed out on the chance of winning a record third straight Champions League title after losing 2-0 to Morocco's Wydad in the final, which was played in Casablanca last May.

“This is the second time that we play in the Champions League and we hope to deliver a surprise against Ahly, with all respect to its history. It will be a football game and Ahly has not been on top form recently, so we hope to take the advantage of it and proceed to next round,” explained Sayadi.

“Egyptian-Tunisian football clashes are always strong and enthusiastic and we hope to represent Tunisian football in a perfect way.”

“Our Serbian coach Darko Novic knows Ahly well as he played against them last season while he was in charge of Algerian side ES Setif. Also, we know a lot about Ahly as we follow the Egyptian league like the Egyptians do with the Tunisian one."

“We developed a lot in recent seasons and we hope our performance will be close with the teams that compete for the title. We will fight till the last minute,” the spokesman concluded.

The first leg of the round of 32 will be played away from home on 9, 10 or 11 September while the second leg will take place in Cairo a week later.

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