Koller says 'Ahly strikers have not convinced him' after they fail to score again

Ahram Online , Thursday 29 Dec 2022

Ahly Manager Marcel Koller that his team wasted a lot of chances to score in the 1-1 draw against Ceramica Cleopatra on Wednesday, revealing to the press that his available strikers "do not convince him in training."

From L to R: Hossam Hassan, Mohamed Sherif and Shady Hussein. Ahram


"I chose Shady Hussein to start this game. He played well and reached the goal but wasted," Swiss boss Koller told the press conference after the game.

"My strikers do not convince me in training. So, I had to use Percy Tau as a striker and he scored twice before being injured," Koller said.

"I pick a striker to start based on training and the goals ratio," he explained.

Koller rotated a number of his strikers in 10 league games but none of them have helped him much.

Mohamed Sherif, 26, the league top scorer two years ago, participated in all 10 games but scored only 2 goals.

Last night, Koller sent Sherif into the the game for Shady, 29, in 66 minute when the Red Devils were trailing by one but could not make a difference.

Hossam Hassan, 29, who received limited playing time when the team needed a goal to draw or win in some games, have not scored or made any assists yet for the Swiss this season.

Last night, Koller did not even include him in the squad.

The three strikers combined scored only three of the goals scored by the team in all games this season.

Last night, Ahly managed to score and tie the game only from a penalty kick in the 78 minute that was well executed by none other than Ali Maloul, a defender.

Despite all its strikers' problems, the Red Devils remain in first place with 24 points - two points ahead of Future FC and three points ahead of archrivals Zamalek who play tonight.

Defensive woes

"I don't want to say that Ceramica scored because of Mohamed El-Shennawy's fault. All players make mistakes," in response to a question on whether the goalkeeper erred in dealing with a cross from a corner kick that allowed the opponent to take the lead.

"We trained on dealing with Ceramica's typical attack formation in corner kicks. It was a joint mistake between the keeper and the defense," Koller added.

"We notably improved in the second half. We created a lot of chances but some lameness from the players and fine saves from Ceramica keeper kept them at bay," he said.

Koller, who took over in the summer following the sacking of Portuguese Ricardo Soares, led the Red Devils to sex straight wins in the Egyptian league but failed to win in the last two clashes.

He won two games in the African Champions League and one in the Super Cup.

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