Tunisia’s US Monastir vows to make use of transitional period in Ahly: Spokesman

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 19 Sep 2022

Tunisian side US Monastir eye making the best use of recent struggles of 10-time African champions Ahly when both teams meet in the African Champions League round of 32, club spokesman Tarek Sayadi said on Monday.

 Tunisia s US Monastir


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

On Sunday, Monastir, who are making their first-ever appearance in the prestigious continental tournament, booked their place in the second preliminary round after defeating Rwanda's APR 3-0 to go through with a 3-1 aggregate win.

“We will try to make the best use of the transitional period at Ahly and also their recent unusual poor results. For the first time in recent years the team ended the league competition in the third place and they recently hired a new coach (Marcel Koller),” Sayadi told Egyptian TV channel Sada El-Balad.

“We respect Ahly and its history, but we will play as we are equal in chances. We will work hard to secure a positive result in the first leg at home to make our mission easier in the return match in Cairo,” he added.

On 9 September, Ahly announced hiring Swiss tactician Marcel Koller as new coach, replacing Portuguese Ricardo Soares whose brief tenure lasted just two months. 

The Cairo giants had a season to forget last term, finishing third in the Egyptian Premier League for their worst position in 30 years. They also lost 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. The team made several signings this summer amid their plan to rebuild the team.

The first leg of the round of 32 game between Ahly and Monastir will be played away from home on 7, 8 or 9 October while the second leg will take place in Cairo a week later.

“We preferred not to face Ahly, the biggest team in Africa, but finally this is the draw,” Sayadi concluded.

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.

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